Levy's 2020 Tech Predictions: More Integration, More Coils, More Aluminum, Less Suspension, Leaner eMTBs

Jan 6, 2020 at 18:24
by Mike Levy  


Here we are, rolling into 2020 and we're not even riding hoverbikes yet. Disappointing, I know, but there's plenty of slightly more realistic new tech and gear to look forward to (or maybe dread, depending on your point of view) in the coming year. If I was forced to write down my predictions for what we'll see more of in 2020, which is exactly what this is, I'd put my Canadian pesos on more integration for bikes and components, a lot more aluminum, a handful of slightly larger suspension forks, and further e-bike development that will hopefully mean my eyes won't bleed every time I see one.

Does your crystal ball match mine, or is there no future in my career as a psychic?





More Integration

Integration is usually thought of as an eleven-letter dirty word by us mountain bikers, sometimes for valid reasons, but it can also be a smart way to make more reliable, simpler components that also weigh less. A win-win-win, right? Well, kinda; if it's stronger, lighter, and more better, it's probably going to cost more, at least for the time being.


Integration gone too far? Maybe for now, but Magura's hidden brake lines combo'd SRAM AXS shifting makes for an ultra-clean cockpit.


While it's still unconfirmed (but also not undenied) that we'll see RockShox launch wirelessly-controlled, AXS-ified suspension in 2020, I'll be keeping an eye on the World Cup cross-country circuit. You know, just in case. I'm guessing it won't be a ground-reading suspension system that responds to the terrain like Fox's Live Valve, but rather a way to control the fork and shock's compression modes wirelessly. If the AXS shifting and dropper post are any indication, AXS suspension should be highly customizable too.

Want your fork to firm up by 70-percent and your shock to completely lock-out with the push of one button? Or maybe you'd rather your the fork stays wide open and the shock goes to 50-percent firm?


n a
n a
SRAM's wireless AXS drivetrain offers customized control of the shifting and dropper post, and the next step would be from them to extend that to their suspension. Maybe.


Or maybe you want your suspension to automatically firm-up when you raise your eVerb seatpost or shift to your largest cogs? Most of the technology to do that has been around for a while, but putting it all together in a reliable package that doesn't weigh as much as a Tandy 1000 computer is a more recent development. Controlling the drivetrain, dropper post, and suspension together with a single wireless system sounds like science fiction, but SRAM can do exactly that, and I expect to see working prototypes of it in 2020. What's probably still a ways off, however, is a significantly less expensive AXS drivetrain; that'd be a big surprise for me.

They'll be more component integration in the future, too, especially when it comes to the front of our bikes. Wireless control will make for cleaner cockpits, but so will more one-piece handlebar and stem combinations.


It's expensive and isn't adjustable, but just look at it.


An obvious example would be Syncros' one-piece, carbon fiber handlebar and stem combos that first showed up for cross-country use, exactly where you'd expect them to. But now there's even a direct-mount version for the downhill crowd that's said to be insanely strong while weighing a chunk less than a traditional bar and stem that depend on a handful of steel bolts to keep everything together. That seems a bit archaic, no? And without said bolts and threads for riders to deal with, there's less chance of user-error causing any issues. Probably. Downsides include no roll adjustment, of course, and the small fact that they cost SO MUCH MONEY.

I hope we'll see less expensive one-piece 'bar and stem combos in the near future.


Trek Fuel EX 9.8 GX Photo by Dane Perras
Norco Optic C2 review Photo by Trevor Lyden
More holes and more bolts for more storage solutions.


Expect more integration when it comes to frames and how to carry tools and supplies. Last year we saw Trek release a bunch of mountain bikes with a big hatch in the downtube to carry stuff, much like Specialized's SWAT-hole (I guess you can't patent holes in tubes?), because it makes too much sense not to make that big and otherwise hollow downtube carry your mid-ride philly cheesesteak. For the same reason, we might end up seeing holes in other brands' carbon frames, and other clever ways to strap or bolt things all over your frame that a bunch of engineers spent countless hours shaving 37-grams from compared to the previous version... Only for you to go and strap a tube and a set of rusty hex keys to it. Yeah, more of that in 2020.

Chance of this actually happening: 80%




Commencal
Expect to see more coil-sprung suspension on trail and enduro bikes.


More Coil Springs

Upsides to coil springs include more traction, more consistent damping, and way more trailhead cred. Unfortunately for your bro score, most full-suspension bikes come equipped with air-sprung suspension because it can be adjusted to suit most riders, air obviously weighs just a bit less than steel, and let's not forget that air-sprung shocks can do some neat stuff like offer easily adjustable ramp-up and more tuning possibilities. There's also the little fact that the large majority of bikes are designed to work with an air spring's inherent ramp-up; with a linear coil, they're likely to hit the end of the stroke more often than a 15-year-old Levy whose parents just got dial-up internet.

Thankfully, there are some really smart people out there, a few of which came up with Sprindex's adjustable-rate coil spring system. It's so simple that I don't know how someone hadn't already thought of a similar idea. All you need to do is rotate the Sprindex collar by hand to add or subtract as much as 30 to 60 lb/in to the spring rate, and it works by locking out a short section of the coil, effectively make it shorter, and therefore less willing to flex. It also consists of only a few extra parts, so it's dead-simple to boot.


Eurobike 2019
Sprindex
If you like coils, relatively lightweight shocks like X-Fusion's new H3C and clever solutions like Sprindex's adjustable-rate collar are worth checking out.


While not a new idea, but just as simple and useful, progressive-rate coil springs can be used to combat that aforementioned lack of ramp-up. Basically, a section of the spring is designed so that the coils come into contact with each other, which then raises the spring rate. Cane Creek's Vault coils do this, as do MRP's Progressive Springs, and I wouldn't be surprised to see the big boys of suspension spring a surprise (ugh, I'm sorry) with some new coil-sprung options.

All that should mean that we'll see more coil-sprung suspension than ever, especially for the trail bike crowds.

Chance of this actually happening: 70%






Stiffer, Heavier Forks

I remember when the Boxxer had 32mm stanchion tubes because it was around the same time that I had a sweet eyebrow ring. Both seem questionable these days, especially as things keep getting bigger, stiffer, and "more precise" with every product cycle. Fox's rumoured new fork (which we assume is called the 3Cool , uses upper tubes that are 2mm larger in diameter than their current 36, made a sneak appearance on the Enduro World Circuit last season and you'd be a fool for thinking that their competition won't do something similar soon.

If RockShox does come out with a bigger fork as well, the main question in my mind is if it should be called the Totem or not?


Fox 32 Step-Cast 2020
Can you tell that the new 32 is 20-grams heavier than the old one? Me neither. Can you tell that it's 20-percent stiffer? Likely.


Likewise, DVO, X-Fusion, and a few others probably have similar up-sizing plans in the works for their enduro-focused forks, but we might also see beefier fork chassis in the cross-country and trail bike world as well. After all, Fox's updated 32 cross-country race fork weighs 20-grams MORE than the previous version but is claimed to also be 20-percent stiffer in the steering department.

I'm all for a completely unnoticeable amount of grams being added in the name of double-digit gains in rigidity, but that's just me. One day we might even get CSUs that never creak and groan.

Chance of this actually happening: 50%





More Short Travel Bikes

Modern cars are intended to isolate you from the road, providing smooth, safe, and quiet transportation that also lets drivers be in more comfort while going faster. And most of them are boring as hell. But ditch the gooey suspension, heaps of sound deadening, and all the frills and gimmicks and a drive to the corner store can turn into something to remember. I've always argued that a similar theory can be applied to mountain bikes, just so long as the all-important geometry is dialed, and that's hopefully what we see more of in 2020.


Yeti SB100
Less travel can be more fun, especially now that bike brands know that doesn't have to mean it's a pure race bike.


Norco's new 125mm-travel Optic won our Mountain Bike of the Year award for doing exactly that, and rigs like the Tallboy, SB100, and the Top Fuel are closely matched with smart geo and suspension. Bikes like those, along with a handful of others, let many riders get more out of their rides, despite them requiring more effort, care, and skill when things get sketchy.

Chance of this actually happening: 90%




Jenny Rissveds celebrates her Olympic champion title in the finish line of the race. She is the youngest MTB Olympic champion.
The Olympics counts for all the beans, so expect riders and their sponsors to go all-out for gold.


Fresh Cross-Country Tech

There's this little race coming up this year called ''the Olympics'' that a lot of people get really excited about, and there's a good chance that we'll see some wild new cross-country tech as a result. Companies and countries will be putting a ton of effort, time, and money into making sure their athletes have the best chance of being successful in Tokyo, and history says that should mean lighter, more advanced bikes and components than ever before.

Chance of this actually happening: 100%





eMTB Advancements and Attitudes

Have you guys seen that bonkers Specialized e-road bike that hides its battery and motor so well that the damn thing could nearly pass as for normal machine? Sure, there've been motors and batteries completely hidden inside seat tubes and bottom brackets for years, but the Turbo Creo SL road bike is the next level of integration (ahhhh, that word again!) that has allowed for a relatively lightweight, traditional-looking rocketship that can blend in with the stone age, non-motorized machines still plodding around out there.


I'm not sure how this Bianchi get out the door without someone saying "Hey, maybe we shouldn't make the ugliest e-bike of all-time?" I am clearly not the target demographic here.


Will the same thing happen to eMTBs? I f*cking hope so. Have you seen all of some the abominations out there? It's like some of these brands had a competition to find out who could design the ugliest way to attach a battery and motor to a bicycle.

I suspect we'll see a handful of much sleeker, more refined off-road e-bikes in the near future, including some with much smaller, less powerful batteries intended to provide less boost with less weight and size. eMTB-lite, which is a bit like jumbo shrimp, I guess. At the same time, more user-adjustability will figure in, allowing riders to choose different batteries, further customizable torque and power settings, and who knows what else. E-bike hot-rodding is a real thing, which sounds like nothing but trouble.

The bikes improving is great and all, but let's hope we see attitudes improve as well. It's fine if eMTBs aren't your thing - they're not my thing, either - but I also don't care if it is your thing. You shouldn't care, either, just as long as said eMTBs aren't making things difficult for others. After all, I know plenty of people who do all sorts of questionable things on their non-motorized bikes. #ridewhateveryouwant2020

Chance of this actually happening: 30%





More Aluminum

You don't need to be Nostradamus to figure this one out. We've seen more and more riders shun carbon fiber frames and components for their heavier, less expensive aluminum counterparts over the last few years, and that trend will continue for 2020 and beyond.


Aluminum usually offers more bang for the buck than carbon fiber.


If I were in charge of a bike company, I'd concentrate on nice aluminum frames and making sure my geometry and suspension are on-point. Then, I'd hang some decent but not too pricey components on it, saving coin where it makes sense, before finishing it off with reliable tires and graphics that say, ''I make good financial decisions but also want to look pro AF.'' The $2,899 USD Canyon Spectral AL 6.0 and $2,999 USD Ibis Ripmo AF that RC just reviewed for the Field Test are great examples of bikes that won't hold 95-percent of us back but also won't drain 95-percent of your bank account. Way more of this in 2020, please.

Chance of this actually happening: 90%





So, where do you stand on those predictions: Are you hoping that I'm not far off, or is my forecast completely out to lunch?


393 Comments

  • 590 4
 Electronics on bikes are so 2019. Electronics on bikes that require paid subscriptions are 2020. Get your derailleur for free, and only pay $9.99 per month to have access to your 60-tooth cog.
  • 139 1
 The whole subscription thing these days is infuriating.
  • 152 1
 Still waiting for my mtb skills subscription to kick in...
  • 7 0
 You've nailed it! LoL
  • 37 0
 Don't give them any ideas. Lol.
  • 81 0
 Love it! Pay-Per-Shift!
  • 2 1
 at the same time it's an advantage for the consumer: brands are pushed to make parts that last long Wink
  • 44 1
 “Oh sick 13 speed!?”
“Nah I let my subscription run out, so just 11 speed now.”
  • 19 0
 I want to upvote this and downvote this at the same time.
  • 25 0
 @GunRack: Or the other way around. Geeks hack their drivetrain and get 14sp out of a their 13sp cassette. Don't ask how, I don't know shit about software. But this is 2020 see, everything is possible. Just smash the turtle and grab the coin.
  • 9 0
 Shit, I had not thought about this. Having seen this happen in multiple industries, I'm very concerned this is closer to the truth than any of us would like. Better stock up on dumb parts now!!
  • 7 0
 Yes more 5 inch travel 32 lbs bikes, get rad dude.
  • 4 0
 Cannondale does it for their power meters. Pay your bike 10K$ and then another 800$ on top to “activate” the power meter.
  • 7 0
 @vinay: For a while, there was a "hack" you could do to turbo levos where you could manually override the wheel diameter, so you could trick the ebike into thinking you had 20" wheels and it would let you go much faster than the normal governed speed limit
  • 11 0
 @hamncheez:
If I convince myself that I have 20 inch wheels, will I then also go faster?
  • 2 0
 @vinay: Does that mean could go 9s or 10s at a click of a button?
  • 11 0
 @hamncheez: Being Specialized, you should at least still be able to get away with fooling you run a 24" rear wheel (though with a 3" wide Nokian) even if you're running 29" diameter.

@aljoburr : This kind of depends of whether you've been messing with the system clock. If you've set it to 2010 or so, you should be able to do so with the click of a button. If it is set to 2020 you'll probably have to swipe or even talk to it. Did you set it to 1990 though, you'll have to use the command line. Did you make a typo (who even writes correctly without autocorrect these days) and entered 1890, you'll have switch to morse. Still go silly with the typos though or you'll have to kindly ask it to switch from IX speed to X. SRAM will make a huge leap backwards then. Your top level XC groupo will suddenly run a triple ring up front and a 7sp (no DH) cassette in the rear. Oh boy, I'll stop my geek fantasies right here.
  • 4 0
 SRAM, inventors of the boost subscription.
  • 2 0
 @hamncheez: I see to many hacked ebikes on the road here. I have been out dragged in my car by an ebike all the way up to 80 kph(50mph).

Seems like the dealers here tell people how to hack before they leave the showroom.
  • 8 0
 With free version you'll be allowed only 5 shifts per day
  • 2 0
 @fabwizard: it's a really good way to void your warranty, so I doubt it. I know the Giant models can tell if they've been messed with, even if you factory reset them.
  • 3 0
 @m47h13u: It's pretty genius, to be honest. Almost anyone down to pay $9k is down to pay $10k and almost anyone down to pay $10k is down to pay $10.8k especially since they've already got the power meter and it's just sitting there! It's like a f*cked up foot-in-the-door where you open with an already very large request and then follow it with an even larger request. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foot-in-the-door_technique (the "see also" section is a real rabbit hole on this one)
  • 1 0
 @Clarkeh: Problem is not the quality models but the cheap knock offs that are 90% of the bikes out there.
  • 1 0
 @fabwizard: that's because they won't have to warranty the motor when it gets burnt out or busted from being over clocked. It's great when a customer thinks they are clever and tries to cover up their hack but Specialized can see right through it.
  • 5 0
 SRAM is offering a yearly optimizing e-shifting deal rate at $28.99.
  • 6 0
 2020, the year when people referring to DLC in relation to bikes were no longer talking about a stanchion coating.
  • 1 0
 @fabwizard: Good way to sell more helmets and body protection, eh?! :-)
  • 2 0
 @Crossmaxx:
can you imagine pay-per-break!
  • 1 0
 @jddallager: more like a drain on our medical system.
  • 1 0
 Great idea, thanks! Wink
  • 4 0
 I made the mistake of not paying my brake subscription last month. Only had 10 free stops.
  • 3 0
 Hopefully my brother will take out a subscription and I can have one of his logins then... Free gears for me!
  • 2 0
 I'm just waiting for Shimano's quantum shifters. You're simultaneously in a climb gear and dh gear for those pesky punchy up and down trails
  • 1 0
 @douglasbruce: Pretty sure they'll call it a 'dubscription".
  • 2 0
 Soon we'll be missing rides because of lost passwords.
  • 3 0
 BREAKING NEWS
An Olympic xc gold medallist lost his chance on winning another gold medal due to some geeks hacked into the bike's operating system & messed it up.The medallist reported to suddenly have 22speed instead of only 12 originally set up by the team,and an increase of 80mm of travel on suspension system.Fortunately for him,the culprit didn't manage to slacken the head angle to 86°.
  • 160 4
 No matter what is produced by anyone, in any country at any time, someone will whine, complain and generally bitch about it on PB. Chance of this happening: 100%.
  • 23 3
 60% of the time it works every time
  • 2 4
 @Darrenr18: I like reading people argue especially @WAKIdesigns
  • 34 0
 Going to sign up an alternate account, so that I can start posting positive and negative opinions about everything. That way, I'll always be right (and wrong, but whatever)... and I can reply with smug snarky comments to haters with whichever account was deemed "correct".

I can even start hours long arguments with myself that devolve into petty name calling! I'm so excited for 2020!
  • 8 0
 @islandforlife: you gonna cheat during advent calendar as well with that account?
  • 24 1
 @huppe: Yes and then call myself out hard when I win. Should be an epic comment battle.
  • 2 0
 @islandforlife: Be careful or you're going to end up accidentally writing the plot to a romantic comedy or something with like... Seth Rogan probably.
  • 5 0
 @fullfacemike: I am Seth Rogan.
  • 1 0
 @islandforlife: Good luck with that!
Will you just wake up & forget you have a black hat!
  • 1 0
 @Darrenr18: Good tag line for the SRAM Panther bleed kit.
  • 1 0
 @islandforlife: Well this explains why all of your movies feel like a series of funny moments you thought of while you were super high then concocted a rudimentary frame story to string them all together.
  • 2 0
 @islandforlife: You haven't already?!
  • 95 2
 "Sure, there've been motors and batteries completely hidden inside seat tubes and bottom brackets for years"
No there has not!
Sincerely, Fabian Cancellara
  • 15 0
 You can't prove that. Femke Van den Driessche on the other hand.
  • 17 2
 So Specialized and Trek build millions of bikes with manhole covers on downtubes to literally smuggle a bong or body parts inside and Nicolai/Geometron won't build me a frame with a single water bottle mounts!!
WTF?
  • 37 0
 @chasejj: I put so many snacks in my swat box. People can talk all the shit on Specialized that they want, and I'm cool with it. But if you start shit talking on snacks.... that is where I have a problem!!!
  • 12 0
 @bobbyrampsbikes: Srsly. I'm so jealous of these magic boxes inside bikes. Massive tubes on my Pivot should hold some serious snacks. Maybe I wouldn't have to tuck my enduro banana behind the goggle strap...
  • 13 0
 @chasejj: It's time we just poured water in the frames and route a little hose through the dropper, next-level camelbak.
  • 6 0
 @bobbyrampsbikes: swat box in the uk means something totally different lol
  • 16 0
 @joostd: did you bring the bong bro?... Dude my bike is the bong...
  • 1 0
 @bobbyrampsbikes: Feed me Seymour!
  • 12 0
 @joostd: through the dropper?? Sounds more like a bidet!
  • 16 24
flag paulaston Plus (Jan 10, 2020 at 12:12) (Below Threshold)
 @chasejj: Nicolai are focused on building reliable and high-performance monutain bikes. Not MTB's that double as a fashion accessory AND a cargo bike...
  • 1 0
 Coincidentally, just today, I got a marketing email from Cannondale about their new SuperSix Evo Neo that 90% of avid cyclists would just assume is an aero road bike
  • 7 0
 @paulaston: one could think some basic functionality could also contribute to performance, but what the hell do we know?

Absolutely love Nicolai, but come on, at least a less than ideal mount under the downtube?
  • 6 0
 @paulaston: All I wanted was a single bottle cage. I would even drill and install the inserts myself and was told no way. Warranty Voided. So I bought a 2020 Banshee Titan. Oh Well.
I refuse to wear a hydropack ever again. Love Nicolai/Geometron's , except that issue.
  • 2 0
 @chasejj: pretty sure Fidlock make a magnetic mount with cable attachment to the frame. You can mount that wherever you like on your Geometron...warranty intact! Either that or befriend a camel
  • 5 0
 @chasejj: just have yer mate on the ebike carry water for you
  • 1 4
 @chasejj: Why would they build you a frame? Do they know you?
  • 85 0
 It would be nice to see the bigger players offer more AL bikes with better builds... I would rather have the AL frame with better parts than a carbon bikes with a lower parts spec for the same price... But, most consumers will go for the "oooohhh and Awwwe" factor of the carbon frames...
  • 9 0
 This!
  • 10 1
 I wonder how the market breaks down for first time buyers verses people already in the sport for 3k+ MTBs? If The first market is a large majority, then I would expect carbon frames with low spec to dominate at the low end of the market ($3k). If the second group is larger I would expect aluminum and higher spec to come back.

I just bought an aluminum bike with better spec components after 5 years on a carbon bike. I like the carbon and keeping the weight down is nice. I also trust carbon to be strong given how well the frame has held up to some serious abuse, but I replaced everything on the carbon trail bike except the BB. I was patient about it so got good deals but still, it adds up and the overall cost of that bike was easily $2k more than the initial price. So this time I went with aluminum and a spec that I didn't think I would replace a single part on (until they break or wear out), because I'm riding for fun and the extra 1-2 pounds from the frame matter not at all to me.
  • 2 1
 @pcmxa: great point, the additional 2k for carbon bike replacements on top of what you had already paid is something i havent thought about. i ride aluminum frames now but was planning on going carbon next season. Now i am more on the fence after hearing all the horror stories and wanting higher spec'ed parts. Would you ever go back to carbon, or are you full aluminum with high spec'ed parts now?
  • 2 1
 Nicolai will get you top spec on their aluminium bike. Same goes for Commencal, Orange, Pole... Not necessarily all big players though of course Commencal is.
  • 4 0
 Couldn’t agree more! Also give us some frame only AL options instead of just carbon ones...
  • 3 1
 @rgiuliano: If there were identical carbon and aluminum bikes with the exact same components at the same price, I would probably go carbon. In my experience, carbon is strong and stiff, both of which I like. I've done a number of park days on my Carbon Troy and it has held up fine. Its taken a tree to the bottom bracket at 12+ miles per hour, had baby heads thrown up hard into the down tube numerous times, and gone tumbling down the mountain side with no damage. But I wince and worry every time something hits the frame. I don't sweat it with aluminum. I do also feel that the frame is stiffer and allows a bit better transfer of my energy and a tiny bit more control (maybe). But none of those advantages are anywhere near as large as having better suspension, better brakes. So in the real world I bought the aluminum bike with better build spec for less than the carbon bile with a less desirable build.
  • 4 1
 I don't have anything against carbon bikes.. They have many pros... but, price isn't one.. I would love to see my Slash 8 available with a better fork and brakes out of the box... Alloy with GX or SLX drivetrain, higher end suspension, and good brakes for around 4000 is doable.. And, I wouldn't consider Commencal a major player compared to the big 3...
  • 9 2
 Why does it have to be a "bigger player"... just go with someone like Knolly and you're good.
  • 8 1
 @pcmxa: The first time buyer doesn't want a $3K carbon frame with lower spec components (NX) or a $3K alloy bike with slightly better components (GX or SLX). They want a $1200 bike made of anything as long as it just works, which is probably and alloy frame and even lower components (SX).
  • 2 0
 @islandforlife: while some of the boutique brands are making really cool stuff, the bigger players can help bring those bikes in at better prices...
  • 3 2
 That's exactly what YT seem to have done with the Jeffsy - ooooh carbon! The lowest priced Jeffsy, the Comp at CAD4399, is carbon (oooh!), has a decent rear shock but an average (Fox Rhythm) fork with NX eagle with Guide R's and an in house dropper (no idea how good it is). Now I'm sure it will be a volume seller because "ooooh carbon", especially amongst those new to mountain biking. When really, the logical build would be an equivalent aluminium build at CAD3200. The CAD4399 aluminium Jeffsy with top notch suspension (Lyrik or Fox factory level), GX/SLX drive train with Code/SLX brakes and a decent dropper would be achievable and killer. For us internet bike nerds.
  • 2 0
 @lumpy873: Alutech and Commencal aren't particularly expensive.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: you're right... Especially since they focus on consumer direct.. But, I will say, Commencal is a great example of how I would do a higher end AL bike.. I love a lot of their builds...
  • 1 0
 @lumpy873: Other than publishing photos when they come across them at bike exibitions, unfortunately Pinkbike journos don't quite pay attention to Alutech bikes. I actually like their specifications. OEM BikeYoke seatposts, Formula forks, basically interesting builds that go beyond the full SRAM or Fox/Shimano builds at that pricepoint. I think the bikes look nice too. I have a slight preference for Alutech especially when it comes to the specifications of complete bikes but obviously the Commencal bikes seem like massive fun too.
  • 5 11
flag reverend27 (Jan 10, 2020 at 10:32) (Below Threshold)
 Alloy fatigue and carbon does not.

forums.mtbr.com/all-mountain/playing-warranty-game-marin-xm-7-send-me-your-opinions-1125461.html

Didn't have to wait long.
  • 2 1
 6 year old alloy bike torn in half.

And the posters all agree 6 years is a fine lifespan for alloy and op should be happy with a 15% discount from Marin.

Hmm.
  • 7 2
 @reverend27: No it doesn't "fatigue" in the traditional sense. But, like the video shows... hard impacts and stress can break internal fibers, weakening the structure. Multiple impacts break more fibers until an impact causes a catastrophic failure. So the material isn't fatiguing, it's just failing slowly. The bigger problem is that you can't see it happening or stop before the final failure.

In that forum... dude breaks a 6 year old aluminum bike... not totally expected but possible, out of their warranty specs and weird. Have known many aluminum frames to last far far longer. Just look at some of the classic whistler bike check videos pinkbike does every year. But honestly, I'd feel more unsafe on a 6 year old carbon frame. All the unseen damage would freak me out.
  • 3 3
 @islandforlife: I guess whatever makes you comfortable.
I just happened on that thread today and though I would link it next time alloy vs carbon came up in pinkbike comments.
Turns out I didn't have to wait long.

Since my return to mtb 6 years ago I built up a carbon frame. At that time I realized that alloy is harsh to me.

I have since built up 5 carbon bikes run carbon bars saddle cranks and rims.

Out of all that I only cracked a rear rim. And that was my fault smashing it to in to a curb with really low psi.

But ride whatever makes you happy.
  • 3 0
 Norco's bike builder for Sight and Range. Choose your material, then build/suspension kits.
  • 2 0
 @reverend27: Yes, aluminium has no fatigue limit (unlike steel and titanium) which implies it will always fatigue due to cyclic loads, no matter how low. How soon this is depends on how "competitive" the product has been designed. Cannondale for instance is pretty clear about this. I've got a Cannondale Prophet and it came with a manual. If you get a superlight frame (typically their XC or competitive road cycling frames) you should regularly inspect it and be prepared to stop using it when cracks appear. If you don't want that, get a stronger frame (like this Prophet, probably also goes for the Prophet SL etc if you want less travel). Also depends on the alloy of course. People know this. However, I'm usually not that worried about the frame. I expect the stanchions and steerer to fail before the frame does. I'm actually surprised you're using this argument to favor a carbon frame over an aluminium one. Does that mean you're not running a fork with aluminium steerer and stanchions? I did notice you can indeed still get forks with steel steerer and stanchions. That's probably the way to go.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: i got a Intend Hero fork. I don't expect any cracks to be forming in it.

But if he offered a 150mm trail fork with carbon lowers and crown steerer I'd buy it.

Obviously carbon isn't suitable for stanchions unlike alloy or carbon being suitable for frames.

So your example is dubious at best.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: yeah, im so sick of this full shimano/sram build, it takes away of the creativity and freedom of a biker. Most of the people are so afraid to look and think and even ride outside the box, that they settle for these all the same packages, and the only customizable thing they are left with is to ducktape a banana to wherever on their bikes. And here i am riding an alloy frame with full dvo suspension, formula brakes and other stuff feeling better than i ever would on a mass- bike.
  • 3 0
 @reverend27: so what? Like you are gonna ride a bike forever. Go to whistler and check out all these people who ride alloy konas and other bikes that are made 10 years ago. They are smashing them daily and here they are- providing them fun.
  • 1 1
 @Uchwmdr: cool. I'm not against alloy.
Don't prefer it myself I find it harsh.

Just pointing out that it can fail too.
  • 3 0
 Ripley AF please!
  • 2 0
 @reverend27: in theory, stiffer material gives a harsher ride, and a less stiff, more compliant material would give a smoother ride.
  • 1 0
 @pcmxa: Good thing about Aluminium is that if you have a hard impact it dents, with carbon even though its stronger does not show sign of damage unless its serious damage!
  • 2 1
 @aljoburr: yeah . There are many areas of rthe bike that are more stresses than the frame itself. And they are mostly and totally alloy or my these days.
Everything eventually brakes. The thing us i would rather have something that is waaay more sustainable to produce, and way cheaper.
  • 2 0
 @reverend27: Carbon stanchions can probably be done though you'll probably need a cartridge (or coil) spring inside and a cartridge damper as it would be hard to make the inside smooth enough to seal. That wasn't my point though. What I was saying is that if you buy an aluminium bike (or an aluminium bike component) for the intended purpose, most likely it will just keep up. If you get super lightweight FRO equipment it will be light to give you that competitive edge and it will fail sooner. If you want a workhorse bike, you get something designed as such and it will keep up for a good while. My point with the fork is, most of us ride suspension forks where steerer and stanchion tubes are subject the heavy cycling stresses, by no means easier than what frame tubes are subject to (especially considering their size). And they just keep up so well that people are now concerned about fork flex in a super slow-mo huck-video or some creaking instead of actual failure.
  • 2 0
 @vinay: point taken.
  • 2 0
 @islandforlife: one guy couldn't feel any difference and the second guys feelings mirror mine.
Alot of things could go into it rider weights being one.

Where I ride is completely different I would assume then where you ride in Canada.
I'm 140lbs and my trails require alot of pedaling. They are flat with quick bursts
Of technical climbing and decents.

I'm happy with what I have I've spent alot of time and money to get it where it's at.

So I will conclude: I am 140lbs and ride trails that require alot of pedaling so a few pounds is felt alot more then someone riding double blacks in the Canadian Rockies.
  • 2 0
 @reverend27: Doesn’t matter what material you use. Aluminum, steel, carbon. It’s how it’s designed that makes the real difference. Some carbon parts are super harsh and stiff and others are flexible and forgiving but a bit vague. Same with any other material.
  • 1 0
 @reverend27: one dudes 6 year old Marin breaking doesn't make a convincing argument that aluminum bikes are all going to fail, plenty of carbon bikes fail too. In 30 years of riding bikes I've never broken any frame and I've cased a lot of jumps. The only component besides wheels that I've had fail catastrophically was a carbon handlebar, I did crash pretty hard though. As far as one bike feeling harsher than another I think suspension components and setup as well as tires and pressure are far more important than frame material. I have both carbon and aluminum bikes so I'm not on any bandwagon. If you want a lighter bike and have the money to spend carbon is great, judging from your choice in forks you have that luxury. If you want to save a few bucks you can shred just as hard on an aluminum frame, you'll just have to work a little harder on the uphills.
  • 1 0
 @lumpy873

Propain.

They have your standard entry/mid/pro tiers of build but these are just suggested build options. You can swap and change all parts as you go through the order.

I think this is brilliant as many people might have to pay for a higher-tier spec of bike (from other brands) purely to get one or two parts only available in that tier and the rest they don't care about.

My ability/skill level (or, more to the point, lack thereof) means that there's absolutely no justification for going above the base specs (at least on the more 'generous' brands like YT etc). However, if i improved dramatically and i was in the market for a new bike with perhaps a better suspension spec, i'd still be happy with the base spec of other componentry such as bars, stems, wheels etc.

With most brands, you'd have to pay a significant price increase to get the better suspension because going up a tier also increases the spec of all the oter componentry.

I was browsing the Propain website a little while back on behalf of a friend who was looking for a new bike. You could have gone base spec on almost everything which was around £2000, but could have added Fox Factory fork and shock for only a few hundred more.

I think it would be amazing if more of the direct-to-consumer brands started offering this level of customisation.
  • 1 0
 @boostedka: I'd buy it tomorrow. Trying to decide if ripley frame or ripmo af nx build this year
  • 68 2
 Higher prices
Chances of actually happening 110%
  • 10 19
flag Swangarten (Jan 10, 2020 at 7:49) (Below Threshold)
 Is there anything you bought in the last few years that isn't more expensive now? I don't know why people get so hung up on cost increase. It happens everywhere on everything, stop talking about it already
  • 17 0
 @Swangarten: technically not the case, many higher spec consumer electronic items are both higher spec and cheaper (think TVs and the like)
  • 4 2
 I think the word you're looking for is inflation. Also electronics a terrible example because Cycling can never be supported by the volume of mass market electronics. It's not even apples vs. oranges.
  • 3 0
 @ninjaty: why would I use inflation, for decreasing prices of some items! Was just making a point abount not everything been more expensive. I’m sure my XT crankset in 2004 cost £140, tho year £100 but maybe that’s because it’s only a single ring ????
  • 3 1
 @Swangarten: The general trend of the bikes shouldn't necessarily follow our lovely economic positive feedback loop of inflation begets inflation. Yeah, people should have higher wages but bikes still shouldn't be as expensive as they are and that's my conceited opinion. Guess what's still a lot of money: $2000. Guess what the benchmark price for top-of-the-line bikes will creep toward this year: $9000. Holy frig!
  • 42 4
 All those arguments for short travel are the exact same arguments for smaller wheels. The hypocrisy is painful: "Get bigger wheels because it mutes the trail chatter and makes things easier and less sketchy even if the skills aren't quite there yet." But also "Get shorter travel because you can feel the trail more and it takes effort and skill when things get sketchy." Make up your damn mind!
  • 5 0
 This is sooo true
  • 22 1
 I'm in the camp that says the following:
Get bigger wheels because they roll over everything better, let you run shorter travel with the same level of comfort, and are more efficient.
Get shorter travel because it is more engaging to ride and typically more efficient.
  • 3 1
 Nah, 29ers wiht good geo give a better balance of comfort and trail feedback than the smaller wheels
  • 4 0
 Yeah. And then you got the average joe who wants to ride on dh world cup trails that feel like a buttery flying carper. Why tho? Why pay so much money to compensate for skill? Isnt the essence of life to become better with skill? All this « pay to win » thing is pathetic. Why do i need to go faster and faster and faster? Cant we just have fun without paying 8000 € for a bloody bike?
  • 10 13
 All the arguments for short travel are bullshit. Most new bikes pedal well and are efficient, long or short travel. If you claim that you're not getting "feedback" on the trail, your full of shit, or riding mellow trails. Want more feedback? Maybe stop riding those stupid 2.6 tires. Efficient long-travel is the best thing the industry gave us, but you twat waffles are actually being convinced to give it up because of you actually believe the industry or shills for the industry like this site.
  • 2 0
 @SlodownU: hey you better not be implying that tire selection and geometry are the keys to good climbing! How will they sell new bikes?
  • 15 3
 @SlodownU:
It's strange that the XC pros aren't riding 150 mm travel bikes then, sense there are only benefits to doing so and absolutely no downsides. They must be in on it too.
  • 8 2
 @Chris97a: +1 Big wheels and less travel = more efficiency but similar capability of more travel and smaller wheel.
  • 4 1
 @SlodownU:
I do agree with you that modern long travel bikes climb pretty amazing, and if your goal is to get to the top pretty quick and pretty efficiently, they do the job very well. Not nearly everyone does giant stuff, in incredibly rough terrain though. I, for instance, started cycling way before people were jumping huge stuff and riding off cliffs. When that started happening, I knew that wasn't at all for me, that type of riding is not why I started riding MTB's 30 years ago. I love going far, I love riding flowy trails, I love going fast on rough trails. I have never had an interest in going off a jump or drop taller than me and as I get older that just sounds sillier for me to try and do.

So do I need 150 or 170 mm of travel to do the type of riding that I have done for 30 years. Nope, it is fun in the rough fast stuff, but so is a shorter travel bike, the shorter travel bike is just as fun, but at a slightly reduced speed in that condition and slightly more fun in nearly every other situation that I am likely to encounter.
  • 6 0
 @SlodownU: you say that like there is a problem with riding mellow trails. Not everyone has access to gnarly stuff all the time. I have a long travel enduro bike and a short travel “down country” bike. Very similar geo (tallboy 4 and megatower). The tallboy is lighter, pedals better and feels better on the mellow terrain that is local. Just because you can butcher a chicken with a sword doesn’t mean it is the best option
  • 1 0
 Thank you!
  • 3 7
flag SlodownU (Jan 11, 2020 at 6:52) (Below Threshold)
 @Chris97a: XC pros are riding on groomed courses optimized for climbing with man-made obstacles on the descents. My daily ride is 10x more technical than the “pros” xc courses. The dirty little secret for 90% of the rest of us is that we live for the descents. Sure a good climb can be rewarding, but my riding destinations aren’t picked based on the quality of the climbing.
  • 4 0
 @SlodownU:
That may have been the case years ago but that has changed quite a bit, especially in xc marathon, xco is a little more groomed. You say 90% of riders live for the decents, but I think you are only taking into account the people you know or are on Pinkbike. Most riders probably haven't even heard of Pinkbike if they have, it is that place with bike classifieds.

Many people just like riding bikes, I will go ride technical singletrack up and down, I will go for a 50 mile ride on logging roads, I wish riding road didn't feel like a death wish, because I would love to do that more again.

Anyway, for most, in most places less than 140mm of travel is plenty for 99% if their riding. You thinking otherwise doesn't change that.
  • 1 4
 @Chris97a: Well, it sounds like you like the taste of that Cool Aid. There’s one born every minute, and 90% are on this site drinking what they’re served.
  • 4 0
 @SlodownU: I'm on a heavy ass Megatower and love it, but at the same time I fully agree with @Chris97a For most people and many locations even 140mm is overkill.
  • 5 0
 @SlodownU:
This site mostly serves up content for the people that mostly go riding for the huge features, Park laps and the more extreme end of the market. There is a bit of coverage for the adventure, XC, and others but definitely not the focus.

Big bikes are fun, I know, I've ridden a bunch of them, they are great. That doesn't mean they are the only type of bike needed.
  • 1 1
 @Chris97a: Rolling over everything better with more comfort is literally the exact opposite of "engaging".

Long travel lets you run smaller, more engaging, wheels at the same level of comfort, and let you pick from a larger selection of lines/trails/etc so are thus much more engaging. And fun/engaging > "efficiency" for most non-racers.
  • 1 2
 @hamncheez: "a better balance"? More "comfort" usually means feeling less of the trail (small bumps, washboard, braking bumps, small holes), so by definition that's less feedback... So it's a "better" balance only if you want more comfort and less feedback.
  • 2 1
 @Chris97a: Weight and perception is the main things that keep XC on tiny bikes. It's much easier to make a 100mm travel bike lighter vs a 150mm bike. And for professionals who are literally racing for paychecks, that lower weight is a huge benefit when you're racing up and down and all around.

120mm and bigger bikes are getting lighter, but the perception persists that just that extra 2cm of suspension is inefficient when climbing or sprinting, even though there are lockouts still on many XC bikes, making the extra 20mm unnoticable when locked out, and even though there will be a gain in traction in almost all situations from that extra travel if it's not locked out.

But who knows, since some UCI XCO races start and finish on pavement and others have been neutered with gravel and wood, so maybe the couple watts saved going uphill is worth it since they don't have to worry about the downs and flats at all.
  • 1 1
 @Chris97a: "but at a slightly reduced speed in that condition", but you said it was more efficient, so shouldn't that be faster?
  • 1 1
 @gnarnaimo: 140mm isn't overkill, it's a cushion to try new stuff, to make doubles out of mole hills, to find random rock kickers to help boost a backside slope, to hop logs even though your bunny hop still needs a little work, and not crash horribly if you're a little off. If 140mm is overkill, you need to expand your riding outside of just following the trail. Color outside the lines, and be thankful there is a little extra suspension when you find the unexpected.
  • 3 1
 @just6979: 650b with more travel does not equal 29ers. It isn't a line with "liveliness" & short travel on one end and "comfort" & more travel on the other. A 29er does not feel like a 650b with more travel. The larger wheel handles differently. A short travel 29er (with good geo) is playful, gives you just as much trail feedback as a short travel 650b, but has more grip, and rolls over stuff slightly better.

In my experience, these aren't life changing differences, but subtle ones. You can have fun on any decent mountain bike, but a short travel 29er will help you go faster than a short travel 650b without giving up any intimacy with your trail.
  • 1 2
 @hamncheez: "650b with more travel does not equal 29ers" - I didn't say that.

"It isn't a line with "liveliness" & short travel on one end and "comfort" & more travel on the other." - there most certainly is a line with liveliness at one end, that's a big part of Levy's whole damn argument for short-travel.

"gives you just as much trail feedback ... and rolls over stuff slightly better." - Those two things are in opposition. If it's rolling over easier, then it's not giving as much feedback. It's been shown that it takes less energy to roll a 29er up over something than a smaller wheel. If there is less energy change in the system, there is less to feel for feedback.

You can't have both sides of it. Big wheels roll smoother and carry more momentum, so by definition they also give less feedback and are harder to accelerate. (This means starting, stopping, and turning. Those are all changes in velocity and all take acceleration.) I'm not saying no feedback, but definitely less. If not less, then the argument that they roll over stuff easier is false.
  • 2 1
 @just6979: You can feel something, know its there, but still have it slow you down less and transmit less amplitude without transmitting less resolution. The whole accelerate part of your argument is just nonsense- a 29er wheel barely weighs less than a 650b and tire choice will make a bigger difference on rotational weight.

Shorter travel bikes do contribute to a more lively ride, but what i meant to say is its not one dimensional. There are many variables to a "lively" ride, and you can't just take into account a single variable.

On slower, pumpy, very tight bermed trails that are like a pump track 650b wheels will probably perform better. In practice on most trails, at least in my experience, you get that same intimate, close, pumpable and popable experience on a short travel 29er as you get on a 650b, except you go a little bit faster, have a little bit more grip, and for me a little bit more fun.
  • 1 0
 @Chris97a: Which is exactly why I love my 29+ hardtail.
  • 1 2
 @hamncheez: I'm not saying there is zero feedback with bigger wheels, but, as you said, the amplitude is less. That _does_ mean the resolution will be reduced because some of those amplitudes will be below the threshold of detection, ie: maybe those filtered trail features are small enough that their feedback wouldn't matter, but that threshold is totally subjective: effected by rider skill, attention, suspension settings, tire pressures, how close to the traction limit you are.

"There are many variables to a "lively" ride, and you can't just take into account a single variable." - I'm not. just trying to get the trade-off acknowledged.

And you can't claim that "a short travel 29er will help you go faster than a short travel 650b without giving up any intimacy with your trail" - "any" being the keyword. There IS something given up! If they go faster, smoother, rollier, whatever, then there is a trade-off. Maybe you don't care or mind or it's less noticable on your trails and in your experience, but there IS a difference.
  • 2 0
 @just6979: Have you spent much time on either? If it were possible to double blind riders, most would say the 29er is more "fun" and just as "intimate". Just look at bike sales. If you really want the true, full resolution of your trail you would hike it or ride a CX bike. For practical, actual riding, almost no one (perhaps excluding short riders, hard to get good geo on a XS 29er) would report a 29er as being less "in touch" with the trail.

The word "intimate" is very subjective, but in a double blind (very difficult to hide the wheels from the vision of the rider, that would be quite the trick) few are going to report that the 29er (once again, with good geo) is too stable, wallow-y or anchored to pump, pop, weave, etc.
  • 1 1
 @hamncheez: Yes. Strongly disagree. Can't look at sales because many shops only stock 29ers because the manufacturers ask them to and many people are going to just buy what's on the racks. The only non 29ers in one of my local shops are the S and XS sizes that only come in 27 and the kids bikes. "For practical actual riding", every single recent review of a 27.5 only model has mentioned how FUN it is to use all little trail features to boost and jib and rip. If the big wheels truly weren't different, then going "down" to a 27 would also not feel different, except IT DOES according to reviews on this very site and others.

You mention that double-blind-tests would be difficult, but then just make the assumption that most people would pick one over the other. That doesn't flow...

"For practical, actual riding, almost no one (perhaps excluding short riders, hard to get good geo on a XS 29er) would report a 29er as being less "in touch" with the trail." - so is it geo or wheels that make the big difference? You mentioned both...
  • 25 0
 If you put the news together it means I can ride a Totem coil??? Hell yeah!!!
  • 12 0
 with wireless lockout!
  • 7 1
 And it will be on the Olympic XC bikes!
  • 2 0
 With storage
  • 3 0
 @Dropthedebt: for an ebike! Oh, wait.
  • 1 1
 @WAKIdesigns just like your downduro reach adapter, can you come up with an adapter for lowers that allow the thruaxle to be extended by two inches to allow old 26" totems to run 29ers?
  • 1 0
 I ride a coil shock I’d hate to go back to air so the more options the better but I’d rather see light weight double crowns. Bigger stantions won’t do much as most of the flex comes from the crown anyway. I’ll probably ride them if that’s all we’ve got but a lightweight boxxer sounds perfect.
  • 20 0
 Aluminum for people! The Ripmo AF is a prime example of doing it right. NX can go pound sand though, way too heavy. The SLX build at $4k is fantastic!
  • 5 0
 I agree that the SLX build is fantastic- but not because it's lighter than NX. NX is only 118g heavier than SLX and $1000 for 118g is a terrible buy. Going from $4k to $4300 for the GX will save 185g.

It's 1000 well spent because because SLX is generally better and the dropper and brakes are considerably better.
  • 4 0
 transition has their x01 sentinel on sale for 4800....that is an amazingly good deal
  • 6 0
 @ICKYBOD: that build pricing annoys me. You can get a full SLX 10-51 group with four pot brakes for $600 online. And a OneUp dropper for $250 with lever. Total price =$850. And if you do the upgrade yourself you can sell the NX group, brakes, and dropper. Total outlay, maybe $300-$500 after selling the takeoffs? And yet the SLX build is $1000 more than the NX build?!
  • 4 0
 @gumbytex: I've been really bouncing this around in my head for the last few weeks.

In Canada, I can't even find the SLX groupset with the 4 pot brakes. The next best thing is the SLX groupset with 2 pots (not including bottom bracket) for $850 delivered + $360 for a oneup dropper with lever.

So $1210 Canadian - $600 for the take-offs sold. Layout is probably 600. But the SLX build is 1300 cad more.

Kind of a similar boat, but I'd need to decide if saving 600 dollars CAD is worth spending the time building the bike from scratch myself, plus the time finding buyers for all the take-off parts. (and then not having the 4 pot brakes, of course. Were I to find them, they seem to be much more expensive - so that takes an additional $200 off, makes the savings more like $400.)

I'm not sure that it's worth the hassle - which is probably the same calculus IBIS has done.

Edit: It wouldn't shock me if they're making next to nothing (or nothing) on the NX builds, and they're counting on the profits from the other builds to financially justify offering the NX build at such a reasonable price.
  • 1 0
 @jayacheess: You checked eBay?
  • 1 0
 @jayacheess: sorry I don't know what the conversion to cad would be but it seems cheaper.

rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.com%2Fulk%2Fitm%2F333327689075
  • 1 0
 @jayacheess: $756 shipped to your door with 4 pots.
  • 1 0
 @gumbytex: I hadn't. I'm always a bit leery about ebay purchases direct from Asia. But yeah, looks like full SLX groupset for ~800 Canadian with 4 pots.
  • 1 0
 @gumbytex: That's cool, I havent seen anything close to that price yet. I've seen some pricing where when you click on it- it says backordered.
  • 2 0
 @jayacheess: that seller has 99.7 feedback and over 22k sales.

I don't understand the sketch with eBay its PayPal basically you are fully protected.

I buy 95% of my stuff there.
  • 1 0
 @reverend27: Definitely tempted.
  • 2 0
 @jayacheess: just trying to help a fellow human out Wink
  • 2 0
 @jayacheess: I passed on the AF and got a Nukeproof Mega instead, partly because of that. Carbon frame, full SLX, DT wheelset, fox 36 and DPX2 for $3700. No need to do parts swaps, eBay, and selling takeoffs.
  • 1 0
 @gumbytex: i always go full custom. Frame i like, paint i like, fork i like, shock i like, even geo i like, drivetrain i like, brakes i like and wheels i like. All good, bike is unique and most importantly, the whole building process is so passionate!
  • 1 0
 @gumbytex: Wish I fit an XL. Not much left at that price point. ;(
  • 1 1
 @ICKYBOD: "brakes are considerably better" as in, they'll actually stop you
  • 1 0
 @ICKYBOD: in my experience, any shimano drivetrain works better than any sram drvivetrain from the same level
  • 16 1
 Boutique frame builders undercutting costs of brands like Trek.

75% possible.
  • 46 0
 We're listening.
  • 3 1
 This. The number of good reasons for shops to stock expensive bikes on their walls dwindles by the year. The fewer expensive MTB's shops have to stock, the more floor space they have for other stuff (or the lower their leases can be by not needing so much space), and the less money they need to have tied up in inventory. Add to this, the average consumer pays WAY less for a bike, and gets it in the mail 95% assembled. And if they need that 5% assembly taken care of by a pro, they can pay a bike shop for it.

The model NEEDS. TO. CHANGE. I expect brands like GG, YT, etc. to become bigger and bigger players as long as Trek, Specialized, Santa Cruz, Yeti, etc. keep forcing consumers to pay $1000-$2000 for comparable builds just because the bike is passing through a bike shop on its way to you. There's no quality difference between traditional brands and direct-to-consumer brands now (in general), no matter what a cranky bike shop owner tells you.
  • 2 0
 @GuerrillaGravity: Y'all have my attention. My next rig is between y'all and Airdrop. Who knows, I could probably buy both for the price of a Trek or Santa Cruz.
  • 3 0
 @gumbytex: There's a shop where I live that only stocks demo bikes. They have nearly full size and model range so you can demo exactly what you want, but all purchases are via order only. I think that's the future of high-end bike shops.

Customer gets to try before spending $4k+ and shop locks in customer because they charge for demos, but refund it all with a bike purchase.
  • 1 1
 @gumbytex: Also I'm not sure the direct-to-consumer brands are any cheaper. I ride a GG and my build cost $5250. I saw a very similarly specced Specialized Enduro for $5300 at a shop the other day, and it's a really nice looking bike. You say Yeti and SC are expensive, but their build prices look very similar to comparable specs from Trek, Giant, etc.
  • 2 0
 @GuerrillaGravity: make alu frames again? For us fat ppl?
  • 14 1
 An aluminum, coil-spring short travel eBike that’s heavily integrated and costs $3k?
  • 15 0
 Levy, get out of here with that burner account!
  • 1 0
 you don't want to use an aluminum coil spring!!!!






(sarcasm)
  • 9 0
 What must be worrying for bike frame manufactures and assemblers at the moment is that none of these things listed above really enough reason for people to buy a new bike.
I mean, it's not exactly an "essential new wheel size", frame material or substantially new technology
  • 13 0
 Stop thieves, serialised components would help.
  • 1 0
 @richard01: This, my German automobile has the serial number on everything from factory so it's possible to do. Be nice if it was done discreetly though.
  • 1 0
 @Blackers: it all helps with warranty figures for the manufacturer. Major items like forks and droppers already have that, don't they?
  • 11 0
 "Bianchi ends e-bike craze"
  • 18 2
 it would look right at home on the back of a tesla truck
  • 1 0
 @kittenjuice: Except that if it got hit by a rock it might break
  • 5 0
 A decade ago, people talked about gearboxes becoming the next big thing. Either it won't happen, or they are going full stealth with Shimano registering their own patent and Effigear appearing on more and more bikes and no one notices.
  • 12 1
 Gearboxes will be a big thing once the tech is there. It will never make sense to have a $120 long-cage mech clinging onto a delicate aluminium hanger as you rattle your way through a rock garden. Gear boxes also concentrate the majority of the drivetrain weight low and in the centre of the bike, which is the ideal place for it.

However, right now, conventional drivetrains are actually working pretty well because we've been refining them a long time. They're efficient, quite light, shift well, we don't really drop chains any more etc. A gear box would have to be quite good to be better than a modern 12speed drivetrain and they're just not there yet. Might need another decade or two.
  • 3 0
 @tom666: More than anything, gearboxes have to meet the price of conventional derailleur gearing or at least meet the price of running such a gearing for one or two years (with all the wear and damage involved). And there needs to be a more or less universal mount so that you're not fixed to a single gearbox manufacturer. So far we've been lucky to have had a more or less universal rear mech interface (except for the first generations of Shimano Saint and Hone mechs) so it hasn't been such a plunge. To me Pinion looks like something that will never be cheap. This may be easier to realize for Effigear or PeteSpeed. For commuterbikes geared Nexus hubs are quite common, Alfine is one step up. Such a rearhub may not survive on a mountainbike but there maybe they'll just eventually go back to mounting these inside the front triangle. Just like Nicolai used to do with Rohloff hubs and several brands (including GT) used to do with Alfine and Nexus hubs. I understand not everyone was happy with the added drag but then again I also understand the more recent Alfine hubs are quite good so yeah, maybe brands will go back to using this approach. At least you have economies of scale on your side.
  • 2 0
 @tom666: I agree with you mostly, but I think probably the biggest thing keeping the derailleur system relevant is people can see all of the workings and it makes enough sense. Many people like the simplicity of bikes and that it is reasonable to think a regular person can work on them. Nothing hidden so it's easy to see and figure it out. That's also how many people without mechanical inclination are able to screw it up.

Until more people see a huge flaw with the derailleur drivetrain, gearboxes won't become huge. I really wanted to love the gearbox on bikes, but they are harder to pedal. There's more weight and more drag. Coming down, the Zerode Taniwha was pretty amazing, I just couldn't get used to letting pressure off the pedals to shift while climbing.
  • 1 0
 @tom666: "However, right now, conventional drivetrains are actually working pretty well because we've been refining them a long time. They're efficient, quite light, shift well, we don't really drop chains any more etc. A gear box would have to be quite good to be better than a modern 12speed drivetrain and they're just not there yet. Might need another decade or two"

Yup. Just like a parallel linkage fork should work better than a telescopic fork in theory, but so much $ and time has been put into telescopic forks that they work really well for what they are. That and most parallel linkage forks are just not a s pleasant to look at.
  • 1 0
 @woofer2609: And most bike geometries are designed to work with telescopic forks. A linkage fork would be best if the frame has been designed around that. Or you should get a frame that isn't ideal (too steep HA) for you and hope to compensate that with the linkage fork to end up at the sweet spot. Sounds like hit and miss.
  • 1 0
 @dangeraem: You're right that conventional bike drivetrains are easy to work on, but if you could buy a bike that came with a virtually maintenance free gearbox that performed as well or better as a modern 12sp drivetrain, was way less likely to break in use and centred the weight on the bike I don't think too many people would care that you can't see what's going on inside. I think that would be a huge win in almost every sense.

@woofer2609 The fork analogy is right and for sure we need to get to a place where you can shift under load with gearboxes.

Because of where we are now conventional drivetrains and telescoping forks will be the standard for the forseeable future, we've put a lot of time and effort into developing really good systems and they work really well actually. I think we can expect that linkage forks and gearboxes will overtake eventually though.
  • 1 0
 @tom666: I don't know anymore what to expect. Fifteen years ago you had a top team racing DH on a bike with gearbox (Honda), you'd see other gearboxes (PeteSpeed from B1) as well as conventional geared rearhubs mounted inside the front triangle (Nicolai with Rohloff, GT with Shimano) and well, there was a lot happening. It was very vibrant, there was a lot happening and it felt like gearboxes would be very common in two, three years time. What we have seen happen since then is that the gearboxes have become definitely common for purposes where reliability and durability are key (trekking/bikepacking and commuting) but not quite for purposes where people also look for agility and speed. Zerode has bikes, Olsen has bikes, reports have been good, riders like them, people still aren't buying many of them. Not sure why. Even I was really considering a bike with a gearbox. I considered the Portus Krowd Karl, the Olsen bike (though in steel, which would be just as expensive as carbon as he'd need to have someone else weld the frame whereas he'd do carbon/aramid in house). I even discussed the Pinion, Effigear and even the Rohloff option with BTR. Eventually I still didn't go for it. Because I really needed to wear out loads and loads of drivetrain components (including wear parts like cassettes and chains) before I'd break even. Plus it wouldn't be possible to get the rear center as short as I wanted it to be. So yeah I was very close to getting one but I didn't and I still ride a bike that works perfectly fine for me.

As for linkage forks, same story kind of. I've seen quite a few German A linkage forks back in the days, people were racing those USE forks (also for 4X racing), then it just went all silent. Just because Pinkbike is now paying attention to those Trust forks doesn't mean it is the hot shit likely to take over the world. Linkage forks have been around for a good while and well, they didn't take over the world so I see no reason why Trust would be the one that would. Actually, what is new (to me) are those frames with linkage front suspension like that Structure bike. That one makes more sense to me and at least it isn't a concept that's been around for a good while and has proven to not make it. So yeah, it might make it. We'll see.

Funny thing is, it takes loads of early adopters to make it worthwhile for manufacturers to develop new stuff. And to me, being an early adopter seems a stupid thing to do. You may fund the improved product but what you're getting is the early iteration that was expensive and flawed. Back in the days it may have made sense as there wasn't a viable existing alternative so you could at least have a blast on the first Klunkers even if they broke frequently. Or more recently, early dropper seatposts weren't reliable either but the concept was interesting enough for people to accept the flaws. But as it is now, you can just have a proper blast on a conventional mountainbike with a derailleur and telescopic fork and it is just going to work. And as you are enjoying yourself, new tech either materializes or it doesn't. Once it does and you like it, you can buy it. If it doesn't, then so what? On the fly adjustable tire pressure, suspension spring rate... I can imagine would all be amazing stuff to have. Yet at the same time I having enough of a blast on my bike as it is that I can't be arsed to invest in something like that either. Not too soon. I invite the early adopters to go and get it, post it on Facebook and Instagram and tell everyone it really is the shit. Once the price comes down, reliability is up there and my current stuff is broken then yeah, I might consider it.

TL;DR: I prefer to be at the tail end of technological progress. Don't wait for me.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: When I said I think they will overtake eventually I was referring to the timescale in my previous post - a decade or two, maybe more. The tech isn't there atm.

Hopefully Pinion and the like keep improving their stuff. They might gather some more market share slowly. Meanwhile Shimano and Sram will no doubt be exploring gearboxes. We'll get to a point in a decade or two where the conventional bicycle drivetrain can't really get much better - we'll have as many gears and as much range as is reasonably possible, they will shift as well as the idea of using a chain and a cassette allows, they'll be as silent and as sturdy as the concept allows and at that point, to continue to progress, we'll have to move toward something else. That's perhaps when major $ will be put into coming up with a really good gearbox.

Linkage forks I care a lot less about honestly, I think despite their issues telescoping forks work as well as we need them to.
  • 1 0
 @tom666: as someone who rides a lot, telescoping fork maintenance is pain. Having to open it up and replace oil every month or two. I'd definitely like to see more improvements there. I want something I can ride a lot and maintain it's performance without maintenance.
  • 1 0
 @dthomp325: I have my forks serviced every 200 hours in dusty conditions, with nothing in between, and can't detect much degradation in function. Am I insensitive?
  • 1 0
 @ceecee: I don't notice the degradation before I service as much as the improvement after I service. It always seems fine, but then feels so much better after just a lower leg lube service.
  • 1 0
 @dthomp325: The power of suggestion? We need tribological data acquisition...how's that Smash comin
  • 9 0
 lighter dh tires with stiffer carcass please!
  • 9 2
 The bar stem combo is a no for me.. I like to adjust the roll on my bats. I also think it looks like poo
  • 1 0
 Bars.. damn fat fingers..
  • 2 4
 Seems like you could add small washers under the front two, or rear two, bolts to adjust roll?
  • 4 0
 @SCCC120: Don't know if that would be a good idea. That would leave a wedge shaped space under the stem.. Could crack it you tightened the bolts or really stressed it on a big hit.
  • 2 1
 Do you adjust the roll often? Probably not, so you could just find the integrated system with the optimum angles for you. Same applies for the arguments like "but I can't change my stem length now!" How often to you do that? Maybe once or twice when dialing in a brand new bike with large geometry differences. In that case you would dial it in with a traditional setup, then install the integrated one and reap those saved grams!
  • 1 0
 @just6979: If I want to save a few grams, / pounds I'll just loose some weight. The weight to price ratio is just out of line. I'll stick with the norm.
  • 1 0
 @BeerGuzlinFool: That's not what you said the first time. It was the "lack" of adjustability...
  • 1 0
 @BeerGuzlinFool: ya, didn’t sound like the best idea given the space under, was just trying to be creative to solve the problem. Then maybe thin wedge shapes at different heights to fine tune roll and keep a solid contact surface with no gap.
  • 1 0
 @just6979: The lack of adjustability is the biggest issue. How many versions do you think they would produce.. probably not many. If you're average height it might not be that big of a problem. Taller riders like myself would have an issue with average set ups.
  • 1 0
 @SCCC120: That would work.
  • 4 0
 ridiculous. so right now i can work on and maintain all the components of my bicycle so the industry must yet again come up with a way to make things more complicated and more difficult than they need to be. whats wrong with a derailleur cable?!?! seriously though? and your fingers... whats wrong with fingers these days that they cant manually adjust the suspension settings?! is this still planet earth? i think i may be lost.
  • 4 0
 I'd love to see more puncture resistance innovation with rims, tires, and inserts over the next few years. Seems like something with the most potential to elevate my everyday riding experience.
  • 3 0
 My takeaway?
Many aluminum framed bikes are a similar weight to the same model in carbon. Aluminum is a great material for bike frames. Weight saved on unsprung rotational mass is far better bang for the buck (think butted spokes and lightweight rims and maybe tires if they are burly enough)


I for one would like to see the standardized derailleur hanger SRAM proposed come to fruition.

Finally, howzabout someone redesigning their suspension on All Mountain bikes to best work with a 26t NW chainring so we can go back to 10-36t cassettes that are WAY cheaper, and a half pound lighter? Wait, that makes too much sense, so will probably never happen.
  • 2 0
 In my opinion smaller chainrings and cassettes could work on smaller wheeled bikes but are really hard to make work on the big wheels. Because of the suspension pivot locations. Though most don't care, those small chainrings and cogs are really inefficient as well.
  • 6 0
 What I'd like to see is 6 or 7 or 8 speed wide range cassettes. I don't need 12 or 11 or even 9 or 10. Keep the weight down and keep the range and option of varying chainring size (28 to 34) for your given terrain and needs.
  • 3 0
 @islandforlife: That should definitely be an option that's available.
  • 3 0
 @Chris97a: I constantly thought the same thing; suspension design is centred around (pun intended) a 30-32t chainring, and would not work well with a smaller chainring.
For a lark, I went back to a 2X system, running a 22 and 32t crankset (2015 Kona Process 153 27.5").
Honestly, the peddling was not noticeably worse at all with the 22t ring, in fact it was better, if anything.
My chainline was much better instead of being cross chained with a 30t 1X on my 42t rear cog most of the time for the ups.
As for smaller cogs being less efficient, I agree, they are. How much so is up to debate, and at what point you start to notice it is also up for debate. A cross chained bike is also inefficient. A 26t front ring would still have a rather large diameter, but a rear 10t cog does create some pretty kinky chains due to a tight radius.
Interesting stuff for sure!
  • 1 0
 @woofer2609:
Pedaling should be pretty good with a smaller chainring. But on some designs the pedal kickback starts to get pretty noticable when pedalling on rough ground.
  • 1 0
 @islandforlife: box components is probably the closest you will get. I’m with ya!
  • 3 0
 In regard to linkage forks I see it like this. If you created a keyboard that was better than a current keyboard ( I'm talking about arrangement of the keys/ user interface and functionality) it will not replace the current configuration. It will not sell; even if it is better it will not be perceived that way, it would be a hassle and a pita.
So if your thinking about a linkage fork that's going to change the market - think twice, invest once.
Contrast this with the marketing blitz that is everything, all the time and focused on you spending money on a retro geo 27/29er with all this crap that is really nothing more than liscense plate ego,ffs.
I gotta say Levy was making a joke and the downcountry thing took off like it wasn't already a thing.
What's next, bike company gonna sell you. I'd rather ride the bike I have than work to pay for a bike that is in the garage.
Just a drop of realism to consider before gulping the cool aid of newerer shit , trail head cred, nice one corporate logo gene splice.
  • 4 0
 I would buy a 38 just for the little valves to vent the fork seals. Doing shuttle laps Monarch Crest requires a lot of zip tie burping so my fork doesn't feel like poop.
  • 3 3
 maybe get a coil fork?
  • 1 0
 @VelkePivo: Go coil _and_ shorter travel and Levy will come ride with you whenever you want!
  • 3 1
 Bike industry going in circles , coil springs are cool again, bigger wheels up front is better, what do you need all that travel for? Carbon is for the rich!............good thing I know what I like and don’t need these companies telling me what my set up should be. The good thing is we have lots of options and great components to upgrade to our specs.
  • 5 3
 RockShox isn't going to go with thicker legs just because Fox did. They've been arguing the 35mm legs on the Pike, Lyrik, _and_ Boxxer allow them to tune in differing fore-aft compliance and that it's even more important with slacker head angles. RS has a pretty good track record on making things light enough and stiff enough without immediately resorting to the easy lightness but automatic stiffness with larger diameter tubes, and I can only see them continuing that. I also see the 38 being marketed specifically for eBikes, which brings up another argument...

I weight 100 kg, so even on a 14 kg bike, together I'm still heavier than a 70kg rider on a 20 kg eBike. So why would the eBike supposedly need specific components to handle the stresses of being an eBike? Could it be because doubling the rider's power (even a decent rider should be able to pump out 200-250 watts pretty continuously, and even the weakest eBikes are in that range of power-assist) means the bike is going to be smashing into things twice as hard and having to handle twice the power to the ground? So that means the alleged negligible increase in trail impact from eBikes is bullshit. If it wasn't, then eBikes wouldn't need all this over-built shit.
  • 2 0
 Seems kind of straight forward to me-it's not based on your weight, it's based on average weight and scaled to max weight. Ebikes are probably around 7% heavier at average bike + rider weight and maybe 4-5% at max bike plus rider weight. So they probably need something about 7% stiffer to give the same "feel" and that's a bonus for the bigger people. The power may play a part in ebike specific chains and cassettes, but they're limited to 20mph so you really don't have to account for bashing into things any faster I don't think. You would on the way up I guess, but they aren't much faster coming down.
  • 2 0
 Plus the ability to do multiple laps for similar energy and time = more trail impact.
  • 2 4
 @islandforlife: I'm fairly certain some jackass from NorCal will soon interject to tell you that, despite their assertions that they allow you to go further in the same amount of time, they don't produce any more wear and tear on a trail system than a standard bike.
  • 2 1
 @just6979: Sram feeds you marketing speak & nonsense about 35mm because that is what they decided on a few years ago & dont want to spend money on re tooling & order different seal sizes. Or to differentiate from fox, I cant see it as being anything more than that.
  • 1 0
 @ICKYBOD: How often are you going 20mph uphill or on a rolling trail on a plain bike? Answers: never, and not often or for long. eBike makes it possible, evidenced by the extra burly equipment. Especially the need for super strong drivetrain stuff: SRAM's e-specific 8-speed for example, is kind of proof that eBikes are putting way more force into the ground, and that simply can't have zero impact on the trail.
  • 5 3
 I find the strapping your stuff to your bike thing very ironic in most cases and generally daft.

Spend a dollar per gram to save weight, on a bike you likely already lack the skills and muscle to repeatedly bunny hop and heave around with ease all day... then increase the bikes weight by 6% or more by strapping your belongings to it, rather than increase your body weight by 1% by wearing your belongings.

The crux of bunnyhopping and muscling a bike is the frontal outstretched arm lift motion, which most riders would struggle to do with a 15lb weight in each hand

Furthermore, Its so much easier to take a full size multi tool out of your pocket than to fiddle with digging a tiny shitty expensics multi tool out of some muddy orface on your bike.
  • 6 0
 I do not want stuff in my pockets that can cause me even more injuries when I crash so either in a bag on the back or waste or on the bike is much better than in a pocket.
  • 3 0
 @txclg: I’ve been riding with a camelback with tools in it since 1994...I never came close to injuring myself from it...and the old school xc bike geometry practically required that I crashed at least once per ride.
  • 2 0
 @getsomesy You must not live in a hot climate. I'd ride naked if I could. Unfortunately, as a male, that's frowned upon, and I fall way too often.
  • 2 0
 @unrooted: so true
I've landed on my water pack a 'time or two' over those same decades. If you're lucky enough to land on it it usually helps. 71* headangle plus long stem offered up the slight opportunity to flip all the way, but I ften used my head to land on.
  • 2 0
 @unrooted: yup! I've used my camelback as a cushion more than once! Also started riding in the late 80s and had my fun with xc geo that meant a crash per ride was not uncommon. I must have been going slower back then or just bounced better because I seldom go too hurt. Now it just hurts a lot more... guess I'm old.
  • 1 0
 @txclg: sure, a backpack works too i do that often but keep my multi tool on a pocket on the front of the bag so i dont have to remove the bag to access it.

I dont think a crank bros m19 agaisnt my big fleshy thigh is going to cause any real injury to me, if im slamming down i surely have much bigger concerns than a pewny multi tool.

I also have been saved by my backpack and its contense rather than injured by it in crashes. Not a concern to me so long as i dont have a sheathless machete strapped to it.
  • 1 0
 @dlxah: ive ridden in 90-100 degree plenty of times. I dont think a small sweaty ventilated riding bag covering 1 sq ft of my back is significant factor in causing hyperthermia. For high heat Id rather have 3liter of water and a white mesh tshirt in a riding bag shirtless or on under a riding bag than only have 12-32oz max water in water bottles on bike
  • 1 0
 @getsomesy: To each their own. I choose comfort. But there are other reasons to carry gear on your frame. More unsprung mass for better suspension performance. Lower center of gravity for better cornering and stability. Bunny hopping is not a problem for me. Some people have different priorities. It’s definitely not “daft”.
  • 1 0
 @dlxah: the change to the rider-with-vehicle center of gravity made by putting 3 lbs of: multitool, tube, pump, 16oz water, and small backpack on your lumbar vs in your front triangle and steer tube is basically inconsequential. Compared to an adults body weight is just a drop in the bucket. On the other hand, adding that 2.5 lbs of stuff to your bike is about a 6-10% weight increasment, which is substantial change.

i choose comfort too. the comfort of having more than 16oz of water, the comfort of having a place to stuff an extra layer, food, a place to stow my helmet pads glasses. the comfort of having something between my spine and a pile of rocks when i tuck and roll.

adding 10% of a bikes weight back after spending 1000's to hit a desirably low weight threshold is generally daft. im glad you can bunny hop, congradulations, whatever works for you dude.
  • 1 0
 @getsomesy: Um, you're the one who brought up bunny hopping, man. I didn't mean that as a personal insult against you.

Obviously, I carry a small pack on long rides when I need more water or gear. I'm not suicidal. But even if I can't put it all on my frame, 3 pounds of water and gear off my back is still 3 pounds of water and gear off my back. And an ounce of weight saved on my bike build is still an ounce of weight saved if I put a water bottle on it. In my experience, I don't notice the extra weight on my frame while riding as much as I notice the extra weight on my back when carrying it.

Plus as a bonus, that extra 3 lbs is probably about a 15-20% increase in unsprung mass, which directly equates to about a 15-20% improvement in the sprung to unpsrung mass ratio.

But you know what, you're right. Clearly my experiences are flawed and my opinion is invalid seeing as they aren't the same as yours. How daft of me to think that I might be entitled to a personal opinion.
  • 2 0
 @dlxah: im not offended, and im truely glad you can bunny hop, i can too. like i said congradulations whatever works for you ( not sarcasm).

its suprising to me that you feel the weight less on your bike then on your bike. i agree about the oz saved is an oz saved. i guess for our own reasons we have our own ideas of how to best package that weight. im not saying your daft or that your opinion is invalid, although i disagree.
  • 2 0
 I think one that was neglected was “Bike shops becoming service centers.” My local shop doesn’t sell bikes, they just do service and they are killing it. So much less overhead because they don’t have to buy a bunch of bikes, no issues with “Oh you sell Orbea and Salsa, but I want to buy an Ibis,” and no pressure to buy something because the markup is crazy.

They know you are buying your bike online and based on YouTube, Instagram, and pinkbike, so they are there to help you when your dumb ass stripes your cranks.
  • 3 1
 That Norco smart phone app that helps you tune your suspension seems like a game-changer to me. The interactions among all the suspension settings (variables) make optimization a random process for most of us. And don't get me started on that noisy, non-repeatable measurement we refer to as "sag." A few (cheap) sensors and tuning software could be extraordinarily effective. I think motion sensing, not actuation, will be the hottest topic in bike electronics.
  • 2 3
 sorry to hear you struggle to use a tape measure.
  • 2 0
 @getsomesy: Sorry you totally missed the point.
  • 1 0
 @jacobyw:

The norco ride aligned tuning thing is harly more than a gimmick. Regardless of the suggested setup good setup will be individually tailored. Tuning based on skills stated on paper are notoriously overstated. Also pressures on paper are irrelevant because of the variance in guage readings.

Sag, damping, tire pressure, as well as bike size, bar width etc need to be set related to the individual rider at the time and the terrain.

Figuring out a tune starts with baselining, then changing one variable at a time. Ie Whacking chainring in chunk - add 5 psi & 1 click rebound to maintain rebound rate. Fork bottoms hard on regular impact - add i click hsc.
Ride height ideal but fork diving- add 1 click lsc to fork. Fork diflecting off roots reduce hsc 1 click.

Setup is kinda like chasing your tail untill you have different setups basically known for different situations.
Reccomended settings are always just starting points. Sag is not a pressure, it is a distsnce.
  • 1 0
 "The X-Fusion H3C retails for $399 USD, and it weighs 318-grams without a coil spring." - That's about 150g lighter than a Super Deluxe Air without the coil, and 700g with a 400lbs coil or about 150g lighter than a Super Deluxe Coil. Not yet air shock lightness, but better.
  • 4 3
 More cheesy trends, cash pops, and reserection of previous fads; which, only make the consumer think they're " sucking a hind tit"
with there current set up. Chances are? = 100%
the forests and terrain has been the same for millions of years. So why does this industry try to see everyone on the latest fad( with no other proven results, other than " a different feel" just to turn back, and take it off the shelves.
So get your top dollar ready for the next big thing this season!
  • 4 1
 Just wait for A.I. on bikes. It will quickly detect how bad you are at riding, kill you, bury you in the woods and keep on riding like Gwin without you.
  • 1 0
 u forgot "and talk sh!t about u to the other bikes."
  • 1 0
 Dude... that was the funniest thing I’ve read in a long time. The imagery was classic.
  • 1 0
 No mention of the Manitou mezzer which is the first new era fat stanchion fork. Just need a new totem and Mz66 to complete the return of freeride and hucking to flat.... Aluminium makes a lot more sense than carbon, resultant weights are generally of negligible difference in the real world, stiffness can also be tuned by design as with carbon, price is less and its recyclable. I'd like to see more advance in alloy tech like scandium or shot peened frames and stuff... if possible
  • 1 0
 I thought the DVO Onyx was out two years ago with 38mm legs. Or is that 36mm?
I would be all over a new Totem!
  • 1 0
 @jaame: 36mm, definitely a missed opportunity
  • 1 0
 Imagine AXS suspension tied into GPS. World Cup pros and their mechanics are now doing course walks with a suite of instruments to decide exactly how the suspension should be set up on every short section of the course. Maybe they even decide what gear to be in at the time. And then you can download that same profile after the race and try it out yourself.
  • 4 0
 So, if Levy gets all of these predictions correct, does that mean that he has perfect 2020 vision...?
  • 1 0
 I'm glad to see more aluminum frames and components. For all the circle jerk environmentalism that happens in the MTB community I think it's pretty laughable how many people will spend top dollar to have stuff on their bike that is way more harmful to the environment than aluminum.
  • 1 0
 I just want the bike industry to stop ramming carbon down everyones throats. Seems popular consensus is that most people dont want to pay an extra 2K on a frame to save 1.5 lbs. i would personally rather save that cash and get a higher spec aluminum bike. Bike companies PAY ATTENTION!!
  • 12 10
 There seems to be a correlation in mountain biking lately. The more electronics you have on your bike, the less talented you are.
  • 5 0
 Or the more sponsored you are.
  • 3 3
 Tell that to Sam Hill and his (3rd in a row) EWS-winning bike full of AXS gear.
  • 6 0
 @just6979: Sam Hill fits pretty much in "the more sponsored you are" category
  • 2 0
 Electronic-conrolled wireless/lineless hydraulic brakes! And something like SmartBoost hubs and frames, DUB2 cranks of course.

And yes, RockShox Totem XC WC.
  • 3 0
 It's a shame that Rockshox have killed the Totem..Why the ZEB though!???
Longlive totem!!
  • 1 1
 Do thicker stanchions actually provide a stiffer fork? Seems that there is a lot more at play than just being 2mm thicker. But hey, slap a 38 on the side, make it bright yellow instead of orange, and people will have to buy it.
  • 4 0
 Yes they do. Certainly more to it than just stanchions but stanchions do flex. So in general if you keep everything else similar and make the stanchions bigger the fork will be stiffer.
  • 3 5
 The most important bit is to minimize bending of sliders since then they don’t slide very well between bushings...
  • 2 1
 Yes and no. A larger diameter hollow tube of the same mass is definitely stiffer, but may be brittle, though can be made just as strong and still lighter. But that tube on a fork is anchored by the crown, so weakest link and all. But a bigger leg means more crown anyway (to fit the leg in), so same concept of a larger "diameter" (yes the crown isn't a circle, but the concept also works with a hollow box/trapezoid/etc) adding stiffness applies. So maybe actually yes and yes, unless they're idiots, and Fox (Tail) generally isn't idiots.
  • 3 0
 Watch the huck to flat slow motion video from the recent field test, there's lots of flex in the stanchions!
  • 3 0
 @Blackers: I watched the video again and I don't really see the flex in the stanchions themselves. Once they completely compress into the lowers that whole piece seems to move as one. I see all the flex in the connection of the stanchions to the crown and where the crown attaches to the steerer. Of course that is with my very uneducated eye.
  • 1 0
 Ive noticed that on a stiff enough fork, the flex starts to transfer to the steerer tube. Its kinda not ok to have a 100 mm 32 mm stanchion xc fork with the same steerer tube as a 180 mm 36 mm hardcore enduro fork. But then again, a more compliant fork ( flexy fork) provides a bit smoother ride, but is not good for a 90+ kg riders. In my opinion a 70 kg rider wont be able to tell the diffenrece between a 34 and a 36 fork. Another thing is, stiffness veries trough brabds. A 2014 mattoc with 34 mm chassis and 160 mm travel i found to be waay stiffer than a 2014 fox 34 at 140 mm.
  • 2 3
 It’s a balance. Stanchion is a tube and a tube that flexes changes shape of section as well as a bent tube has a harder time passing through bushings even if section shape somehow wouldn’t change. Then we run into too much stiffness issue transferring too much force from the ground to the main frame. Then we run into location of the slider. That is why upside down forks offer best suspension performance, not because of lower unsprung mass which in most cases is too little to make any difference. There’s simple least leverage on the stanchions. They provide least flex of stanchions, at the same time, maintaining enough flex for grip and force damping. In single crown forks Lots of flex comes from the steerer/crown interface, exposing sliders for more extreme angles, this is why dual crown just works better when plowing in straight lines but appears a bit choppy on offcambers, at least the standard dual crown. DC USDs are the bloody best. But heaviest.
  • 2 3
 @Uchwmdr: I am 75kg and when I rode my 32 100mm with 15 axle I am pretty sure it was not working optimally on half of the hits due to stanchion flex. It was scary to ride choppy berms on DJ with it. Now imagine same fork on a woke as fuk slack aggro HT at 150mm of travel
  • 1 0
 @Uchwmdr: "Its kinda not ok to have a 100 mm 32 mm stanchion xc fork with the same steerer tube as a 180 mm 36 mm hardcore enduro fork."

They don't have the same steerer. Check out the steerer tube wall thickness on some different forks. A Fox 36 180mm has massive walls at the steerer to crown interface compared to a Fox 32 StepCast 100mm. And a straight steerer version would have even thicker walls to maintain stiffness, though at the expense of more weight (because of the thick walls).
  • 2 1
 2020 - The year bike companies really run out of ideas. Or maybe the year someone comes out with something actually USEFUL, instead of just continuing to put whipped cream on shit.
  • 1 0
 Adjustable coils are a sweet new idea.
  • 1 0
 One of the early MTB innovations was the integrated bar/stem. They were called bullmoose bars. I have a carbon Ritchey Logic bullmoose on my carbon downcountry hardtail. Awesome setup.
  • 1 0
 I wanna see new totems and ebike frame/motor/battery only kits because there are some great bikes costing $$$$$ which have a bunch of components that would be getting swapped straight out. Looking at you turbo levo.
  • 1 0
 I can't wait to put a Fox 3Cool on my bike!

More Aluminium
I would like more manufacturers (looking at you, Scott) to offer the higher end build kits they reserve for their carbon frames on their aluminium models.
  • 1 0
 "....likely to hit the end of the stroke more often than a 15-year-old Levy whose parents just got dial-up internet."

Oh my god I had to stop here and comment before I could keep reading.
  • 1 0
 "they're likely to hit the end of the stroke more often than a 15-year-old Levy whose parents just got dial-up internet."

15 year old hit the end of the stroke frequently. Lot of cycles.
  • 1 1
 Add trail bikes that continue to gain weight. I was so excited to buy a ripmo af today in XL. Yes the $4k Canadian build as tested. ($2999 US ). I jumped in, geo spot on, bounce felt smooth , size was right. Pedaled a little... hmmm a wee bit sluggish, started to wonder “what’s this thing weigh..” , asked the awesome local bike shop rep to weight it. 35.71 pounds with plastic pedals. Excuse me ? With a set of normal flat pedals that’s a 37 pound trail bike? Wtf. I sold my dedicated dh bike a year prior that weighed under 36 pounds. ( and it was aluminum , dh casing tires , boxxer , non boost/wide everything ) Truly I was disappointed and essentially have scratched it off the short list. Is this the outcome of more rideable Geos? Newer wider/more material standards? 29’er wheels plus capable rubber? All the above ? I don’t know but I’ll move to lesser travel , maybe a pike/34 to hit my 28-32 pound limit. I’m not a weight weenie, but at that heft it will take away from my enjoyment for 75% of my riding.
  • 1 0
 If you ask Geometron they say it doesn't matter. I'm inclined to agree with you, I like a bike to come in from 12.5/14.5kg. Anymore and I think it runs the ride.
  • 4 1
 More standards and more sessions!
  • 3 0
 I'd love to see more ALU and Steel hardtails.
  • 2 0
 More bamboo.
  • 1 1
 Never heard of those brands: ALU, Steel? Do they make bikes out of aluminum or steel or CFRP or something else?
  • 2 0
 I would like my fork to completely lock up and my shock to open fully please, you know just to switch it up a bit. No?
  • 3 0
 Prediction 1. PB points out this will slacken the head angle by 2 degrees due to shock sag not being 'undone' by fork sag 2. everyone now wants this setup
  • 2 0
 @sideshowb: Now you can/should use a shorter fork and Levy will be your bestie!
  • 1 0
 So instead of a hardtail, it’d be a hardhead?
  • 2 0
 @sideshowb: extra stability when you need it most.
  • 3 0
 gearboxes that work better than a derailleur setup
  • 1 0
 and weights ok
  • 1 0
 Pinion works the blast, just need to give it a week to adjust your way of shifting. "click" means other gear, directly. So no need for half a pedal stroke (or more) to engage. It actually shifts faster than a derailleur system when you get the trick Wink
  • 1 0
 I'd like to know REALLY how much heavier most Aluminum versions of bikes actually are..... Most companies keep that very hush hush.
  • 1 0
 Canyon tells you. The alu Spectral is about 300g heavier than then the full carbon version. And 150g heavier than the carbon front/alu back version.
  • 3 0
 Uh... Read the specifications provided on their site? Example: 2020 Transition Patrol GX Aluminum vs Carbon - About 2 pounds. Right there, plain as day. No hush hush, just teh reeding.
  • 1 0
 Most publish their weights, and most reviews weigh bikes too. You get some spec differences but you usually get enough info to figure it out.
  • 1 0
 I’m thinking negative boost hub widths? Lighter then super boost and fit the expensive carbon wheels we all sold in 2019 doh
  • 2 0
 More Alloy bikes with better suspension (Ripmo AF) and so so components is what Im hopng to see more
  • 1 0
 Some alu framesets would be nice too..
  • 3 1
 Latest new innovation will be 26” wheels. Better cornering, greater maneuverablity, enhances your technical riding skills.
  • 3 0
 Still riding a Totem on my 26" park bike.
  • 1 1
 38mm forks from Rockshox and Fox are 100% happening, I've seen both of them in person at a bike company headquarters, they;ll be specced on bikes pretty soon, maybe earlier than 2021
  • 1 0
 Whoever says that Bianchi's ebike Is the ugliest in History must have some mental issus and should check bikes such the old cannondale Moterra or gt eVerb before talking...
  • 2 0
 All I want in 2020 is fox CSU’s that you don’t have to warranty twice a year.
  • 2 0
 Surprised I didn't see ebike specific helmets and gear covered in here...or gravel specific. lolz
  • 2 0
 Funny, I don't really notice a difference in stiffness between my 34 and 36.
  • 3 0
 Thats why you need the new 38! A solution to a problem that didnt exist
  • 1 0
 ... only in the mornings Wink
  • 1 0
 Those integrated internal bar levers look like they would ruin the whole thing when you crash and the lever cant spin on the bar, like they are supposed to
  • 2 0
 What about these extendable width bars you promised on April Fools Day, but were actually a good idea?
  • 2 0
 Something new from Pole coming in 2020. Chance of this breaking... the internet: 83%
  • 2 0
 i never should have sold my Totem, but i couldnt put any bigger than 27.5x2.35 in it...
  • 1 0
 The first time I saw a totem, I believe it was on a Giant Faith in about 2010. I just got an instant boner and knew I had to have one. When I had it, it never really worked that well because I made the mistake of getting a dual position air instead of a coil (doh! Why?)
I have still regretted selling it many times. It just looked so good!
  • 1 0
 All of you can suck my 29+ wheels as my Full Stache and I go blasting past you through stuff you can't handle. I am the future, bitches.
  • 2 0
 Are sweet eyebrow rings getting bigger, stiffer, and more precise? Chance of Levy getting a sweet eyebrow ring in 2020: 20%?
  • 1 0
 "they're likely to hit the end of the stroke more often than a 15-year-old Levy whose parents just got dial-up internet"
I wish I could unread that.
  • 1 0
 I could see Fox getting away from the 34. A lot of bike makers seem to just be throwing 36s on because weight between the two has been negligible on the higher end
  • 3 0
 More 38
  • 8 3
 Then Rockshox releases their new fork with 38.99mm stanchions...
  • 6 6
 Ive now had some years on both alloy and carbon and both ha e their merits but the peace of mind with alloy is just better, never broke a carbon frame but always had the fear
  • 1 1
 @DaFreerider44: Classic...
  • 3 1
 That fear is beyond irrational. CFRP has been proven to be quite resilient for quite a while now.

I've personally seen only one broken carbon frame and zero brokene components, but a handful of broken alloy frame and another handful of "snapped" (broken just as catastrophically as you fear carbon bars would fail) alloy bars. And this is with at least an even local distribution of alloy to plastic, and perhaps more plastic lately.
  • 1 0
 I felt that way when I first got a carbon bike, but as time has gone on I've come to realize that the frame itself is pretty damn tough and I don't worry about it anymore. I've dented aluminum frames but never broken one. I've always been worried that the frame will brake at teh dent though. So I don't know that my peace of mind is any different.
  • 2 1
 @DaFreerider44: Have seen this video multiple times... 3 things:

1. I'm not so worried about how a carbon frame stands up to JRA big impacts like jumps, casings g-outs, coming up short, etc. That's basically what all those tests were for.... until the smashing the frame against the concrete which, actually isn't the same as a fully built up and body loaded frame impacting a rock at speed.

2. I'm more worried about real life crash impacts... like sharp rocks to the side of a top or down tube with speed and body weight... multiple times through a few years.

3. During those tests... the aluminum frame starts to bend at lower impacts (not much lower mind you)... and keeps going because it's intact, but to me it's broken at the first bend point and if I'm riding it, I can clearly see it and ride it home with no injuries. While the carbon frame starts making noises from around the same point (or less) all the way through to catastrophic failure. To me, it's broken at those first noises. But you'd never know it's compromised until you do that a few more times and it then one time it will just catastrophically fail and send you to the hospital.

I'm good with Aluminum. I crash and toss my bike too much... and like to other commented... I don't want to have to worry about punctured carbon or failures that I can't see every-time I do.
  • 2 1
 @islandforlife:
This!
Plus, an alloy frame maybe cheaper to replace. Depending on brand of course.
  • 2 1
 @OneTrustMan: you can repair carbon though...
  • 2 0
 @islandforlife: #3 you made the argument against you. Modern CFRP has massive impact handling. It takes much more force to break something carbon than is does to permanently deform something alloy. Yes, the alloy might still be "in one piece" after an impact that would also break carbon, but its strength would be drastically compromised and should be considered broken.

You think an alloy frame would have survived the weird impact that broken Minnaar's carbon V10 a couple seasons ago? Alloy absolutely would have broken, maybe (maybe) "folded" instead of "split" in half, also likely been severely dented even from a lesser impact that wouldn't have bothered the carbon.

Maybe you consider a folded in half alloy frame better than a split in half carbon frame, but they're both "broken".

You say you toss your bike a lot. Perhaps you don't realize how thin the walls of an alloy tube are in the middle. A pointy rock that takes a chunk out of a carbon downtube is just as likely to poke a hole through an alloy tube.
  • 3 1
 Gimme 6 inches at the rear any day of the week Madame
  • 13 0
 sir this isn't a hookup site
  • 3 0
 @kittenjuice: #gravelgrindr
  • 2 0
 we already had integrated bar stem combos back in the '80's...bullmoose
  • 1 0
 Just think you could have Sealed Drive accessory to go with your dog colliers, can call it your Punk revival theme!
  • 2 0
 That Fox 3Cool sounds interesting
  • 2 0
 SRAM will never upgrade from 35mm stanchions because... SRAM.
  • 1 0
 Mike Levy,could you tell us more about your 15 yr old "Dial up" internet viewing?
Did you have a favourite "Star"?
  • 2 0
 Specialized Enduro aluminum, please.
  • 1 0
 +1 on aluminum. Never had any interest in carbon, and that's not changing any time soon.
  • 1 0
 Don't all spring shocks allow you to adjust the coil length?

My 1999 Marin Wolfridge FSR had this feature.
  • 2 0
 My $100 mongoose had a sprindex spring on it, super adjustable!
  • 1 0
 Instead of using shorter travel bikes, why dont we go the opposite direction and start riding/building gnarlier stuff???
  • 1 0
 Why magura didn't licence its tech years ago astounds me, it alrwady has a wireless manual adjust setting available..
  • 1 0
 I'm really hoping more companies go with an internal gearbox. I would really love a bike with a pinion gearbox.
  • 1 0
 Shimano releasing an updated saint groupset

Chances of this happening - 0%
  • 1 0
 Prediction: Pinkbike sacks up and reviews the Slayer

Chances of this happening: 0%
  • 1 0
 It will be a 38 FFS. Why pretend this shit is such a secret. My bet is SRAM one up Shimano and release a 52T cassette.
  • 1 0
 I'm waiting on the OneUp 60T Sprocket to come out so I can add it to my 11-50T cassette.
  • 2 0
 No mention to f 26” coming back.....
  • 1 0
 Will the e bike bubble burst or are they here to stay, just got rid of mine and back on pedal power.
  • 1 0
 100% chance of pinkbike continuing to pretend downhill bikes, jumps, and pretty much any form of gravity riding don't exist
  • 2 0
 more alloy bikes!!! carbon bikes are overrated!
  • 1 0
 A thing I'd like to see is a welded 7075 aluminum frame using that new welding rod from UCLA.
  • 1 2
 Tantrum Cycles has been putting out great performing low cost aluminum frames for years (geometry, looks, branding, and supply hiccups aside...).
  • 1 0
 2020 bringing back #ridefinmetal ? =)
  • 2 0
 #KeepMtbMetal
  • 4 7
 Fatter forks? Makes little sense. CSU will always be the weak point for these. The’d have to come out with a new 2” tapered steeter and taller crowns, increasing Axle
To Race beyond healthy limits, and they’d still be behind a dual crown fork. Fox40 weighs 2.8kg which is impressive if you look at the size and stiffness of it. Just make lighter dual crowns. Make a 180 DC fork at 2.5kg. My Lyrik at 180 is really beginng for mercy when put into DH territory
  • 1 0
 I was thinking the same thing on the 2" tapered steerer a while back.
  • 1 0
 The tapered steerer wasn't done just for more stiffness. It was done for the same strength at _less weight_, and for better looks to match the frame tubes as they increased in size (for stiffness and less weight, as usual).

Also depends on what stiffness you're talking about. Large/heavy legs help mostly with fore/aft stiffness (while RS argues this shouldn't be just maxed out,and instead tuned for the situation), while large axles _and_ double crowns help with torsional stiffness, and double crowns alone help with absolute strength by transferring load to the frame and taking some load off the steerer.
  • 1 0
 And the taller axle-to-crown can be mitigated by shifting the dropouts up the legs a bit, which also looks bad-ass, a la the 26" Fox 36!
  • 1 0
 MRP Bartlett
  • 2 5
 @just6979: Crown steerer interface is inarguably a flex point. Increase lower diameter of the tube, especially in case if integrated steerer/crown design increases stiffness of this “joint”. Dual this is where dual crown fork has the biggest benefit. Apart from that it is stiffer in every direction. If you try to hold a heavy stick straight up (or an axe) with one arm it takes more grip strength than holding it with two hands using one finger and thumb per hand. 2 point support of a lever is always better than 1 fat support. Lowering fork legs is done to increase bushing overlap not to
Lower A2C since A2C is always limited by how thick crown is and where’s the top of the tire.
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: I didn't say the tapered steerer wasn't stiffer, I said it was done for weight savings at the same stiffness. A tapered steered of the same weight _is_ stiffer, but tapered forks are using a lighter steerer/crown at about the same stiffness. Just compare the wall thickness of the steerer on a bunch of forks, straight and tapered, long travel (stiffer) and short travel (lighter). You'll see massive walls (heavy and stiff) on a straight long travel crown, thinner walls (lighter, but not necessarily stiffer) on a long travel tapered crown, and even thinner walls (lighter and possibly less stiff) on a tapered short travel. And you'll see a relatively thin wall on a straight steerer double crown, because the force is spread by the two crowns.
  • 1 0
 @just6979: yes and no. It is the interface that matters. You cannot achieve same stiffness with such narrow interface, no matter how fat you make it. The crown will flex. That is the reason for creaking csu of most fox forks. Too little contact area steerer/crown. Increasing diameter of the lower race as well as making steerer and crown as one element (like Öhlins does) would greatly improve this issue.
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Do you have audio of yr Lyrik begging for mercy? How many creaky CSUs were actually creaky headsets? I'm not convinced these are debatable issues.
  • 1 0
 No tire predictions? IMO that has the most potential for improvement.
  • 1 1
 At some point they were interviewing folks here that talked about it. Making the tire to rim interface more robust and similar to a motorcycle tire. Having a fattened section that acts as a rim bumper and a sidewall stiffener eliminating the need for inserts. I think that, or something similar would be the biggest change on MTB's since droppers.
  • 1 1
 I predict that Kenda will pick up Maxxis riders weary of out-of-round, separating, and quick-wearing tires. Schwalbe tires will cease being imported into the US for lack of a following. Panaracer, WTB, and IRD will all reappear with decent $40 tires.
  • 2 0
 26"+ x 3" Please!
  • 1 0
 @Chris97a: Have Surly Dirt Wizard 26" Plus Tires, but casings quite thin though, was thinking more of Minion 2 ply or shorty in 3" wide!
  • 1 0
 @aljoburr:
If you and the 3 other people that want those are willing to pay $1000 per tire I bet you could convince Maxxis to make them.
  • 1 0
 @Chris97a: They could just reintroduce the Highroller 26" x 2.8 & will buy some when they go on sale!
  • 1 0
 new bikes that will look like trek!
  • 1 0
 I want an e-mtb with a throttle instead of cranks/pedals.
  • 1 0
 That is a e-motorbike that you want then?
  • 1 0
 @aljoburr: uh...yes.
  • 1 0
 More brands an selection is a garuntee
  • 1 0
 30.5 front wheels for 29 mullet bike XXX
  • 1 0
 Would be popular on Avatar!
  • 1 0
 More hardtail on PB = 10%
More underrated brand to be reviewed = 0%
  • 1 0
 I've heard that a hover bike is being released this year.
  • 1 0
 If you want a heavier and precise fork, just bring back the Monster T!
  • 2 2
 Super Boost becomes mainstream.
Chances of that happening: %20
  • 1 0
 Along with 20x110 for those big forks.
  • 1 0
 @cyrways: Nothing new there
  • 1 0
 @zyoungson:
I think he's talking the confusingly named 20x110 boost standard.
  • 1 0
 Great article.
  • 2 1
 28" wheels
  • 1 0
 You forgot the .99
  • 2 0
 @zyoungson:
A SRAM dub reference.

But decimals and inches get along just fine.
  • 1 0
 ..dropper post bloat
  • 2 4
 Updated aluminum slash with top end fox suspension and xt everything else=the perfect bike..

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