5 Questions I Want Answered - Opinion

May 10, 2016 at 21:36
by Mike Levy  
Mike Levy

Scientists split the atom way back in 1917, but Shimano hasn't figured out an effective bite-point adjustment. SRAM apparently killed the front derailleur but has allowed narrow-wide pulley wheels to live another day. People complain about expensive new gear and then go out on their dual-suspension, tubeless tire-equipped mountain bike that can run for months with only minimal maintenance. You can be a competitive vaper (no joke), but there are only seven World Cup rounds. People stop believing in Santa Claus but keep believing in the gearbox.

What a world.

Why doesn't that little Phillips screw on a Shimano brake do something?

Shimano has house-sized machines that can crush massive chunks of metal down into the best crankarms out there, and they make brakes that could be used to slow down the earth's rotation, but the Japanese giant still hasn't figured out how to include an effective bite-point adjustment system. Go ahead, turn that little Phillips screw all the way in; now turn it all the way out.

Actually, you may as well take it right out and throw it away because it has about as much effect as a child's Asprin would on Whitney Houston in the 1990s.

Shimano has had some issues of late with their highest-end brakes, but their stoppers are generally thought of as some of the most reliable and powerful out there. Pretty much every other brake company has figured out some sort of bite-point adjustment system but Shimano. I'm sure that the Japanese engineers over there have a few reasons for this, and I'm also sure someone from Shimano will tell me all about them, but I don't really care - Shimano could obviously do it, and they should.
Thomas Vanderham at 2012 Shimano Saint launch in Whistler British Columbia
Power to spare but lacking a vital adjustment.

Why does SRAM use narrow-wide pulley wheels?

SRAM developed their first single-ring drivetrain, XX1, to the point of near-perfection before releasing it in 2012, and all of their follow-up efforts have performed just as well. In fact, it's fair to say that these groups, from XX1 to GX, have had a massive impact on the sport, at least from a gear-centric perspective. One thing that I never could figure out, however, were the narrow-wide pulley wheels that SRAM has used on all of their X-Horizon derailleurs up until releasing Eagle. I say this because one of my only complaints (that I've made in countless bike reviews) with all of SRAM's current single-ring groups comes down to how the derailleur's upper pulley wheel constantly comes out of time with the chain - the wide teeth are then timed to mate with the inner plates of the chain, and the narrow teeth with the outer. The result is a rough feeling being transmitted through the pedals, and it takes having to shift the chain all the way down to the ten-tooth cog and then back up to a large one to right things.

It seems to be more common on some bikes than others, and I've been told that chain length can be a factor, but it's a quirk that I come across with nearly every test bike that has a SRAM drivetrain. The people at SRAM are a hell of a lot smarter than me, so I'm surprised that they continued with the narrow-wide pulley wheels for so long, but it's looking like that's coming to an end: their new Eagle twelve-speed drivetrain employs an upper pulley wheel with uniform teeth, and I wouldn't be surprised to see all of their single-ring drivetrains go this route.

I would have thought than an enterprising aftermarket company would have come up their own pulley wheels featuring standard width teeth, but that hasn't happened. Levy's Pulleys, anyone? Maybe not.
SRAM Eagle
Eagle derailleurs don't feature narrow-wide pulley wheels. I predict the amount of swearing I do on rides will go down by 73.2 percent.

Why so much hate for new stuff?

Alright, I get it, you just bought a new bike last year and now it's apparently out of date, which will no doubt curb its resale value. And none of your wheels from 2013 are the same diameter as those from 2014, none of the 2014 wheels are the same size as the ones from 2015, and 2015's wheels are different than what's being shown for 2016. Oh yeah, some of the hub widths are different as well. Also, from wheels to suspension to drivetrain, it just feels good to be on the latest gear... and now you're not.

None of that actually matters, though.

Your bike's value nearly bottomed out after you rode it a few times, regardless of whatever size wheels it rolls on or what's replaced it in the catalog since you bought it. Besides, most riders seem to keep their bikes for four or five years, which is long enough that it might as well have 20" wheels by the time you trade it for a PS4 on the Pinkbike buy and sell. And speaking of wheels and the eye-rolling hate that seems to go along with the subject, all they are are options. You pick the size that best suits your needs, be it the same 26'' hoops that you've always used, or a set of 29+ wheels and tires that make more sense for you and your terrain. One thing I do understand, however, is so many readers being sick and tired of hearing about "new" wheel sizes and the marketing oil slick that goes along with them - no new piece of equipment is as important as the rider.

Transition Patrol Carbon review test Photo by Paris Gore
  Transition's Patrol platform is, in my opinion, the best all-mountain bike on the market right now. It's also a sum of its contemporary geometry, wheel size, suspension technology, and a whole slew of the latest components.

I guess what I don't understand is how someone can shit on a well thought out product, calling it either stupid or saying that it isn't needed, and then go out for a ride on their 2008 Giant or Specialized (insert any brand here) that, at one point in time, was cutting edge. Hey, buddy, it's not like you're out there on a steel beach cruiser that you've converted with an old five-speed derailleur and wider tires, so get off that high horse. You may not want anything to do with XTR Di2, Eagle, the latest suspension, or a different wheel size, but don't forget that your 2008 Stumpjumper or Reign is still awesome because it was the latest and greatest when it first came out. And let's not forget that you're getting a hell of a lot more bike for your money than you ever did eight years ago.

If you look online, you can still find all sort of parts for 26'' wheels and older drivetrains that will keep your trusty bike running for many years to come, most of them much less expensive now that newer things are available. So keep riding your trusty steed, but know that when you do decide to get a new bike five or ten years from now, it's going to be one hell of a machine thanks to all the stuff you're calling crap today.

Pivot mach 429 with Shimano Di2 and M9020 XTR components
They're certainly not inexpensive, but Shimano's two electronic drivetrains provide impressive performance and novel setup options.
SRAM Eagle
The latest wide-range gearing makes for far simpler drivetrains that are also more reliable.

Why do people think the gearbox is the answer?

The answer to what, our now reliable, efficient, and relatively affordable drivetrains that work really, really well?

Yes, the idea of a sealed drivetrain that's taken off of the bike's moving suspension bits and placed in a low, centralized location on the front triangle would make some sense, and the potential is certainly there for something, but there are plenty of reason why the latest ten, eleven and twelve-speed drivetrains shouldn't be replaced by a big, heavy metal box full of gears. A funny thing happened over the last five years: derailleur drivetrains got really, really good. I'm talking about the system as a whole, from lighter weight chain guides that don't rub or bend, smartly designed derailleur hangers, and even easy to service freehubs that seem to last for seasons of abuse before needing some love. Evolution is a wonderful thing, but it also weeds out the weak, and gearboxes are like the stillborn antelope in the herd.
Cavalerie Anakin bike review. www.thomasgaffneyphotography.com
Yeah, this looks a lot simpler than a one-by drivetrain... right?

Don't believe me? Chains don't fall at the mere sight of a bump like they used to, and current drivetrains are more efficient and lighter than a gearbox could ever dream of being. And the biggest factor has to be that, after decades of development, Shimano and SRAM aren't about to ditch derailleurs anytime soon.

Cavalerie Anakin bike review. www.thomasgaffneyphotography.com
  Great on paper but not so much in real life. Gearboxes could offer some real advantages, but current drivetrains are far along in their evolution and now work quite well.

I think that most consumers want to purchase what they see being used by professional riders, be it racers on the World Cup circuit or freeriders in the latest movie. When was the last time you saw a gearbox bike take a major win in a race? The old Honda team and gearbox bike certainly made an impact, but they also exited the sport after only a few years. Yes, there's a good chance that Gwin would be just as quick on a gearbox bike, but he is also looking for the lightest and most efficient tool for the job, and that happens to be a traditional (although highly specialized) drivetrain. The same goes for the rest of the field, and I'd be willing to bet that a gearbox bike won't win again anytime soon.

I'm sure there are going to be a few hundred comments on this article from the gearbox gang calling me an idiot, and that's fine. We recently tested Cavalerie's gearbox bike, the Anakin, and found that it had too much drag in the system, so much continually rotating mass inside the 'box that the slowing wheel gently pushed the rider's weight forward in the air, and you can't shift under the slightest of pedaling loads. And if that wasn't enough, a recent Pinkbike Poll with 9,607 replies found that just 611 people feel that they need to constantly adjust their derailleur-based system, 3,398 say that they're happy, but there's some room for improvement, and a whopping 5,598 replied that they rarely ever have any issues.

No, a derailleur-based drivetrain isn't always going to be perfect; stuff can wear out or break just as anything else can, especially if it isn't looked after. But the answer isn't to bolt an inefficient, heavy, finicky shifting metal box to the bottom of our bikes. Gearboxes are the answer to a problem that current drivetrains have, for the most part, already solved.

Why aren't there more World Cup rounds?

I know the answer to this one - money - but still, it just seems silly that our premier race series consists of only six or seven events, and sometimes even less than that. Pretty much every other top tier sporting series that races around the world features more events, be it motor powered or human powered, but we often have to wait a month or more between World Cups, a gap in action that can make it all feel more like a bunch of random events than a true series. I know, I know, putting on a World Cup race is a bit more complicated than organizing a local beer-fueled so-called race for twenty of your friends, and that the host has to pay the UCI a chunk of money while also signing a byzantine contract that covers everything from marketing and multimedia rights, sponsor visibility, to how many transgender-friendly outhouses are on site. But even so, as someone who loves to watch racing of any kind, I've always thought that our World Cup season should be fifteen or twenty rounds long.

Nino Schurter crosses the line with Maxime Marotte coming in just behind him.
We need more of this.
The Bulldog smashing and sliding his way past the alien tree.
And we also need more of this.

Would it cost teams a lot more money to have their riders spend even more time in Europe? Probably, but the series could be laid out smartly to make things as logistically painless and inexpensive as possible. Many European resort towns are quite close to each other, for example, so the whole circus could spend a weekend at one mountain before moving down the road to the next, or even back to back weekends at the same mountain but racing on different courses. Sure, events in other parts of the world would be spaced out more, but Europe has always been the real home of World Cup racing anyways, so the majority of the races would still take place in countries like Italy and France, among others nearby.

But what about the racers - won't that be too much racing for them? You only need to look at the massive road racing calendar to see that the World Cup cross-country crew is easily capable of tackling much more than they are now, and if Supercross racers can make it through a series that's nearly twenty events long, so can the downhillers. Injuries would come into play, of course, but there are many more rounds to make up (or lose even more) points.

In the end, it's time, money and logistics that will keep the World Cup calendar from ever being much longer than it is now, but a guy can dream, can't he?

Author Info:
mikelevy avatar

Member since Oct 18, 2005
2,032 articles

  • 449 52
 People dont hate new stuff, people hate bullshit. Do you think anybody was sat complaining about the change to rear through axles? no, because it was a change people needed. People generally liked the release of 10 speed because they saw the benefit of a range increase and dropping the front mech, i dare say this was even the case with 11 speed. Nobody is complaining about modern geometry.
But... Creating a new axle standard every 2 years is bullshit. Creating a headset standard between 1 1/8 and 1.5 is bullshit. Even the creation of 27.5 was bullshit. Yes there is a performance advantage.... but was it worth such a massive switch in standards? all the riders who were fast on 26 are now fast on 27.5 so what next? a motor?
  • 137 8
Another thing is a resell value - well, I DO NOT care. Really. I would happily ride my 26 bike till it breaks. However, I am pissed off when I cannot buy a decent tire or rim for it. All new refined tire models come in 27.5 or 29, all new rim models come in 27.5 and 29. And even if they come in 26, your national distributor will probably not bother buying them. So what I really hate is the marketing pressure on me - sell it quickly or you will not be able to use it properly - this is really the message for me.

And a little digression, few days ago I was on an MTB training. The instructor rides Anakin (and loves it), hates 27.5 wheels and is a real ripper.
  • 34 2
 excatly man, it´s not innnovations, it´s bullshit what is stupid. I mean, even some of the allen bolts are not the same in products from one year to the next... standard shock bearings... so much can be done to make the market and products more homogeneous and it´s not, just because it creates a market, and this is what ticks people off.
More world cuo rounds though... it´s ridiculous that they don´t do more, and that calendars are closed more than a year in advance, it shows no willingness to make more events even if it was possible.
  • 199 5
 Its like they all had a mass realization that their biggest competitor was actually the second hand market.... so they made the second hand market obsolete.
  • 88 142
flag jerrytek (May 31, 2016 at 1:59) (Below Threshold)
 Worst comment ever.

Why does everything need to be standardized? If bike manufacturers were limited to single bb, wheel size, axles, etc, it would limit their ability to make better products. No other industry is so completely fixated on standards. Why should this the case with bikes?

You're essentially saying that standards are more importance than performance. That's a dumb argument.
  • 58 5
 Im saying theres always a compromise.
If manufacturers didnt have to cater for multiple axle, BB, headset etc sizes, can you imagine how much manufacturing costs would drop?
Of course you cant, because you're too busy dishing out for boost 147 because of 2.9% stiffness increase.
  • 16 5
 @jerrytek: the stuff thats bullshit is the stuff that doesnt really give any advantage. Some developments have been a positive move forward but some have just been blatant bullshit from companies trying to make more $$. In a roundabout way were all to blame tho cause we keep buying the bullshit. bluumax is, in my opinion absolutely correct!
Anyway im going keep picking and choosing what i feel is going to improve my riding experiences and going from 142 to 148 aint gonna make me faster but a dropper post will. GET IT!!
  • 12 2
 @jerrytek: I also think its important to leave the designers and engineers freedom to let them do what they think works best. Thats how innovation works. But at the same time I love the principle of bycicles, that you can mix and match everything (many things) what you like on (nearly) any bike. Look at PC components, imagine you could only pair an Intel CPU with ASUS and Nvidia GPU with msi mainboards.. that'd suck imho. Look at car world aswell (yeah I know much bigger industry, many differences and I'm kinda comparing apples to oranges). But as long as it is possible and makes sense, I personally dont want the bike world go down that road.
  • 14 3
 Bikes are really really good way they are right now. So how do you wanna improve on that with being backwards compatible all the times? It just doesn't work!
  • 12 7
 @lkubica: well said! I'm sick of the hassle of thinking I love my 26" bike & thinking I better start buying spare 26" wheel sets or I won't be able to ride it in the future as you won't be able to get the parts? I don't like how the industry is pricing the people who made them rich & successful out of the sport! Talk about biting the hand that feeds them! It's all about making money these days, as 27.5" 29" wheels won't fit my frame so I need a new F*cking bike too! WTF BULLS HIT!
  • 16 12
 @jerrytek: Not sure why you are getting down voted, besides the definitive increase in quality argument there is also the capitalist reality, capitalism relies on consumerism. so if you are not buying then there will be no one selling. If no one is selling there are no jobs, etc etc etc. people hate for no other reason than to hate. envy and jealousy never brings out the best in anyone!!! suckers we all are!!!
  • 12 2
 @lkubica: Yes!!! There are a kazillion 26" bikes out there that supported the industry since the beginning and now they discontinue parts in an attempt to get us to buy the next trend. Time to stockpile and buy used! F.Y. bike industry trendies!!!
  • 13 3
 @Bird-Man: If the industry still made 26" wheel sets then it wouldn't be an issue, but they won't in the future because it won't be a financially viable option because there won't be the demand for them because everyone will be on the 27.5" or 29" or by then it will be 30" or some shit like that! I get that it's an industry & there here to make money,but at what cost? By killing the 26"? That's not right! In other words there saying " keep up or f*ck off " ? If they continued to make 26" as well then we wouldn't be having this debate. They should let people make a choice of what wheel size they want! Anyway you'll always get posers who can afford a new bike anytime they want, just so they can show off with the latest thing. With all the gear but no idea! Everyone has an opinion I guess & the debate will run & run. It's cool that the Industry is evolving all the time, but have some common sense & keep 26" as an option that's all !
  • 6 3
 Has anyone seen the "project ara" phone? It's basically a phone that can be built, adjusted, and changed with parts you want the phone to excel in. For example, you can put in a block in the phone that will allow your phone to have 200gb of memory, or put in a big ass camera, or put in a amazing speaker block. Basically you can customize your phone a million different ways. I was wondering if you guys think a bike can be built that can support all the standards. 26,27.5,29 wheel sizes, all the hub standards, all the plus size wheels, basically so you can put whatever part you want on the frame and it will work. Do you guys think it can work?
  • 53 5
 Ugh. DJ and slope and most likely freeride will always be 26". I haven't had any problems building new wheels for my DJ bike in the last 2 years and don't foresee any arising. It's a non issue, just a load of crappy cliche about being forced to ride a certain wheel size or not being able to find parts for an ancient bike - even though you can still quite easily find parts to fit said ancient bike. Bummed you can't get the new fancy pants Enduro rim from wtb in 26"? So you're happy to take the weight: strength:width benefits of the new rim but you want absolutely no part of any of the benefits of 27.5? It's hypocritical bull crap. Shut up and keep riding your 26" and have the best damned time or sell it and buy a 27.5/ 29er/ 20"/ whatever and still have the best damned time. It's insane to keep whinging about this stuff!
  • 18 4
 @lkubica: you can't get a decent 26" rim??? You can't be serious. Less than a year ago I got a Flow EX, an Ardent EXO, and a High Roller II for my 26" bike. All on Amazon and ebay. We're not even remotely close to not being able to get good parts for our old bikes, and we won't be for a long time.

If we can still find parts to fix threaded stems and paddle shifters on road bikes, I think we'll be able to keep our bikes running pretty much indefinitely.
  • 7 0
 bluumax writes" People dont hate new stuff, people hate bullshit..

HA!! where's the thumbs up like button?

it's really boils down to the same reason the computer, phone and so many other industries "upgrade" out the waaazoo.... too many sucka's out there want the latest and greatest.
  • 9 0
 This is often where the aftermarkets step in. The One-Up's, the Blackspires, the Nobl wheels.

If the demand is high enough they WILL make you what you want.. But the demand has to be high, with customers ready to spend hard earned dollars on "old technology". Most customers spending big dollars will buy the newest products on the market. Would you pay new car price for a 5 year old model?

I'm on a 26er. It was a brand new 2015 model. I love it. I couldn't tell the difference between 27.5 and 26".
I just really hope the aftermarkets pick up the 26" and 20mm stuff with quality replacement parts.
  • 4 2
 @ThomDawson: you're exactly right. You can't bitch about not being able to get one latest/trendiest component while shitting on all the other trendy tech that came with it. It doesn't make any sense.
  • 3 0
 @SleepingAwake: Not "all the time backward compatibility". Just for some years, please...
  • 5 1
 @pigit77: To a certain extent, it already exists. There are a couple of frames that are 26/27.5 compatible such as by Banshee. Any frame with a 1.5 headset will run any fork or geometry adjust. Bikes like the Intense Socom have interchangeable axle mounts for different standards and adjustable travel shock mounts have been around for donkeys years. I just don't know a single bike that allows all of this on one frame. I reckon the previous generation Scott Voltage probably ticks many of the boxes though.
  • 1 0
 @pigit77: Yeah sounds like a GR8 idea but whoever made it would cost you a fortune to buy! And it would still mean buying a new bike anyway. The debate has already started on tyre size with 27.5 + sizes with oversized tyres.
The problem with them is there prone to punctures, because to keep the weight down they made them single ply !
  • 4 3
 @ThomDawson hits the nail on the head.
  • 8 0
 just want yearly skills upgrade.
  • 3 7
flag sevensixtwo (May 31, 2016 at 8:43) (Below Threshold)
 cry me a river
  • 5 2
 @SAINTSINNER: sorry but I beg to differ...there is still the 20 inch, the 24 inch, the 700cc, 400mm bars, cantilever brakes and pads, rims for cantilever brakes etc etc etc etc and even the kick stand...nothing is going anywhere soon as illustrated by the fact that i still have 1982 hutch prostar bmx that i stll can readily get parts for!!!!!
  • 4 0

No, because you can't have one frame that will work for a 29er Trail bike and a 26er FR bike, even if you could adjust the angles. Even with the advent of 'All Mountain' bikes, there is no bike that does everything well. XC bikes will still climb faster and DH will still descend faster and hold up to the abuse better to an AM bike.

Besides, it's not really the tools, it's the carpenter. Technology helps, but the pilot is key to success.
  • 4 1
 @CaptainSnappy: blkmrkt roam! hehe
  • 26 1

Can you buy a > 25mm inner width rim for 26 which weights 600g ?
Can you buy a maxxis ardent 2.4 EXO in Poland ? No (but you can in Germany, so OK)
Can you buy maxxis aggressor in 26 ? Nope
Can you buy a DD or WT Minion in 26 ? Nope
Can you buy Minion SS in 26 ? Nope
Can you buy Michelin Wild Grip 2.4 in 26 ? Nope, only skinny version.
and so on

Is this absolutely needed ? No, but I would like to try it and I cannot without spending > $2k on a new bike.
Keep in mind that we have 2016, so it is only ~2 years of 26 being dead.
Now we get to the definition of decent. What is decent ? Is it something that is ok, or something that compares ok to "current" offerings ? Is horse a decent mean transport because it was the best in 1800 ?
Anyway, this discussion is quite pointless, because ALL we can do is to SHUT UP AND RIDE.
But Mr. Levy asked why we are pissed off, so this is the answer. No one can convince me that I should not be pissed of when someone pisses me off, you get that ? This is my only right as a customer of bike industry Wink
  • 17 13
@Apache1: Bike companies didn't discontinue 26" wheels as part of some industry-wide conspiracy to make your bike obsolete and steal your hard earned money. They did it because people stopped buying them. Ask anyone in the industry. Most people were absolutely shocked that it happened, and a lot of companies got screwed (the Yeti Sb-66 and Evil Uprising are great examples of awesome bikes that nobody wanted because they had the wrong wheel size). The market drove that change.

The other factor in the decline of the 26" wheel: 27.5" wheels have a few benefits, and almost no downside.

I'm sorry for everyone who is pissed the industry walked away from 26" wheels. But get over it.
  • 9 9
You're missing a painfully obvious point: nobody is buying 26" bike stuff anymore! Bike companies are just that: companies. They aren't going to keep producing things that nobody wants to buy. Products that don't sell get discontinued. That's what happened to 26" bikes. People stopped buying them, and companies stopped making them. So many people see an industry-wide conspiracy, but its just simple economics.

In the meantime, you can still get parts for 26" bikes really cheap. Keep riding your bike. And when you eventually need to upgrade to something new, you'll be amazed about how much better things have gotten.
  • 3 1
 @lkubica: Can you still maintain your current 26" bike? Is it a LOT cheaper to do so now? Then ride the shit out of your bike until you want to save the $$ for a new one later down the road.
  • 2 1
What you describe would essentially be a 29er with swappable dropouts and really long/wide chainstays. It would ride like shit with smaller wheels, and wouldn't benefit from any of the advantages of the new axle standards.

Building a bike is a compromise. Any bike that could do all that, wouldn't be very good at anything.
  • 4 0
 @jerrytek: I'm currently working on a concept frame that is 150/180 adjustable, but to get the most of the adjustment you need different components. I'm working on getting a working prototype this Summer to test the theories. Fingers crossed it's not unattainable!
  • 17 1
 I'd rather continue to develop my wood-burning helicopter than wait for a gearbox standard.
  • 4 0
 @lkubica: "Is horse a decent mean transport because it was the best in 1800 ?"

So 25mm vs >25mm is analgous to riding a horse instead of a car?
So EXO vs DD is analgous to riding a horse instead of a car?

Basically your definition of "a decent tire and rim combo" is literally the newest and best products available for DH and enduro. That's just unrealistic considering there's are virtually no high end 26" bikes being made currently, and pretty much by definition the people still riding 26" bikes spend comparatively little on bike stuff (otherwise.... you'd have bought a new bike by now).
  • 3 1
I've already tried those innovations and dont see all the supposed perks anywhere. Bigger wheels don't make riding more fun (fun is all that matters for me), not at all. And you can believe me, I don't belong to the hardline fundamentalist church of 26ordie, and if I saw the fun factor increasing I would upgrade to something new tomorrow, but that aint happening.
  • 11 1
 Still riding a 26 trail bike. 12x142 Hope Stans Flow, RS Pike, Maxxis DHR2 TR EXO tires............My bike leaves nothing to be desired really .... I'll replace it with a 27.5 bike when it's shot and I won't cry about it. For now, I have no problem finding parts.
  • 5 1
 Seeeeeriously. We fall for the old 'lob a grenade in the comments' article every single time.
  • 5 16
flag Boldfish (May 31, 2016 at 12:16) (Below Threshold)
 People who still go on about 26" wheels are SO boring.
  • 3 16
flag sevensixtwo (May 31, 2016 at 12:26) (Below Threshold)
 @bluumax @260props Maybe you guys should find a different cycling website. This one is clearly not geared towards your 26" fantasies. Honestly all the 26/boost/headset nonsense is boring and repetitive. Pinkbike is afterall "latest in cycling and mountain biking news".
  • 6 1
 @sevensixtwo: both my bikes are 650b mate. The article asked a question and people answered. If you want to gobble down every dick the industry drives down your throat and wash it down with koolaid and a thank you then good for you. Most of us moved with the times because there's no other option so I'm not gonna call a spade a gamechanging innovation in the way we move dirt.... It's still a spade
  • 4 0
 @bkm303: Of course this is a hyperbole, exaggeration or however you call it.
But better rim-tire is a better ride and this is much more noticeable than changing the wheel size from 26 to 27.5. Or it was possible to tell that until they stopped making new 26 tires. So yes, the innovation is happening, but not all innovations are really innovations. 27.5 was a smart move, because this is a visible change. Much more than for example stiffness of the frame, so it is much easier to convince customer - bigger:better, simple. So in effect of course newer bikes ride much better then older bikes. But this is not because 27.5 wheels and metric sized shocks, no.
  • 3 1
 these are the kinda days why i still ride bmx. one basic wheel size to rule it all.
  • 1 0
 I am one of the guys that buys a bike and good components and transfers them to a new/used frame and as things wear out I replace them.

I had just come off a 2009 Pitch and it was very close to modern enduro bikes in geometry and was everybit as fast as my current bike so yes I would jump back on an older bike and enjoy myself just as I do now.
  • 1 0
 @mtbman1980: yes. Pitch. Put a slack set in it and win life. Try to push any worries about ally fatigue to the back of your mind while you ruin all terrain. Great bikes. Look at the Patrol which is said here to be the best of the best - it's a pitch in a prom dress.
  • 2 0
 @ThomDawson: this bike was at the end of its life it was ridden hard for 6 years. It lives on my wall now as I would not want to put it under anyone else for worry that it will disintegrate. I am hoping my Warden will be the same.
  • 7 0
 I went into my local bike shop yesterday and tried to buy one of the best selling tires EVER: a 26" Minion DHF 3C. No luck, at a gravity shop that keeps hundreds of tires on hand, and had a huge selection of 27.5 or folding bead tires, there wasn't a single 3C or soft compound 26" tire.
  • 1 0
 @CaptainBLT: tell em bti has em!
  • 4 3
 The thing that ground my gears about the wheel size is how the industry makes up facts to back their claims. Back when it was 26 vs 29, 29ers solved all problems - they rolled better, climbed better, cornered better. Being a science nerd I knew 2 out of 3 claims where rubbish, but that was the line the industry was ramming down our throat.
  • 2 0
 @SAINTSINNER: cotic out of uk have just released an updated version of their 26" bFe. So yeah 26 aint dead just yet!! Good to see an 'independent' brand stuffng it up the industry.
  • 2 1
 @bkm303: I think Ikubica meant no new product development for 26". No new wider rims, no new tire designs. 'Most' companies are only doing new product development of 27.5" and 29".
  • 1 0
 @StackingItSince1991: Then they (mostly niner) designed all the XC tracks so 29' wheels would have an advantage. It was all always BS.
  • 4 0
 @cstishenko: Just bought a new 26 inch 40mm carbon rim, tubeless tires and Procore. It's still easily available
  • 2 1
 @SAINTSINNER: Don't forget that kids will always need 26ers. They don't grow out of their 24 inch wheels and jump straight up to 27.5. It's also worth noting that many of the pre-teens riding these 26ers (mine included) come from riding families. They are in clubs, and doing races and need a decent bike, it's not worth cheaping out just because they're kids. Any manufacturer that abandons the 26 inch wheel is doing themselves out of a big demographic of customers.
  • 1 0
 Thank God I stocked up 6 pieces of 26' minions. Should last me the next 2 years
  • 8 3

The world is a big, scary place. Shitty things are going on all the time. There are lots of completely valid reasons to get angry. The bike industry making mountain bikes with wheels that are 1.5" larger than what everyone had grown accustomed to isn't one of them.

You think its a marketing conspiracy. Others think its just overwhelming consumer demand. It doesn't really matter. At the end of the day, if the marketing hype that surrounds any new innovation in bikes makes you that mad, maybe you should steer clear of websites that are devoted to that exact topic. Life is too short to be pissed off at shit that doesn't really matter.
  • 7 1
 @jerrytek: Nobody is pissed off or angry, this is a comment section... debate is allowed (the whole freedom of speech thing- make pinkbike great again).
The question was "why is there so much hate for new stuff", as if anybody who doesn't jump on the bandwagon is some tin hate wearing curmudgeon, which simply isnt the case.
Nobody has a problem with innovation, what they do have a problem with is being constantly bombarded with new innovations to a point where you think; If the companies releasing this stuff had done the correct amount of RnD in the first place, they would have skipped 142 and 157 axle standards and gone straight to boost, but they were so obsessed with bringing their new standard to market that the consumer is left out of pocket.
As a consumer you do have the right to call bullshit on this stuff, the world might be a big scary place but that doesn't give everyone in it a pass.
  • 4 1
 @ThomDawson: Fully agree. Enjoy the ride. I had a 26" wheel Santa Cruz Blur and absolutely loved it so when it came time to buy a new bike, I bought a 650b wheel Santa Cruz Bronson (essentially the new and improved Blur). The Blur was awesome but the Bronson is better. The 650b rolls better. It just does! If the 26" wheel was the only option, I would happily keep riding it but the 650b works better for me so why wouldn't I want it?

Innovation requires experimentation and trying new things. It's so great that mountain biking keeps growing. We have cross country, trail, downhill, free ride, park, slope style, downhill, trials, skate park. While it's possible to ride all those different disciplines on the same bike, it's much better to have bikes designed for the job you want them to do. One wheel size, one set of brakes, one seat post, and one drive train won't suit all riders and styles the same. Buy the bike (or bikes) that work for you and ride them as much as time allows.
  • 2 1
 @ThomDawson: I Wish I could upvote you 100 times over.
Quit crying. Embrace what you have. Stop moaning about the industry.
  • 3 3
 @Everlasting2108: so what? If I run a rim/tire company I'm not going out of my way to make new shit just for the #26ordie crowd. They don't spend money on new shit - you can tell because they're still riding their old bikes. The people who spend money and want the best gear already bought 29 or 650b. Why would I add cost and complexity to my tooling and inventory just because a cheap, grumpy, dwindling population of riders wants to try a wide rim? Given that 26" wheels have virtually disappeared from my local trails, I'd say we're pretty lucky to have as many options as we do.

You can still get Ardents, Minions, Flows,carbon rims, procore, all that shit for 26". There is nothing to complain about. My 26er has better kit on it now than when it came out, and I still ride it.

If you can't deal with not having the latest tech, then you've swallowed the industry hype just as wholeheartedly as the people who bought 650b and plus bikes.
  • 3 0
 @CaptainBLT: @CaptainBLT: You know what though? Thats the LBS choice to stock what they want. They want to ram 27.5 down everyones throats. The customer who walked in looking for that 26" tire does not see one, and now is considering a bike:
"oh my god my bike is extinct, there is no parts"
"oh look at all these 27.5 bikes on the wall"
"they don't sell a single 26" wheeled bike anymore"
"maybe its time to start shopping"

I spoke with Maxxis on the subject a little while ago before buying my 26" wheeled Process 167 - and they said that they will make quality 26" tires for as long as the industry demands it. What we as 26" customers need to do is call up the mfgrs and demand it, and shop somewhere that does support it.

I'm not worried about it going away - just a little annoyed. I've ridden both and the difference in my opinion is not night and day.
  • 1 1
 @cstishenko: shopping around at my wholesale sources, it's very obvious which way they lean. . options for forks, wheels, tires and pretty much everything boost, 26, 27.5 or 29, there's a ton more selection for quality 27.5 items over the rest. It's often difficult to find "the good stuff" in 26..

For me, I just ride... I don't really care as long as it rolls
  • 1 1
 @ThomDawson: Also Minions tread patterns are the best and haven't changed in along time nor will they change.
  • 2 1
 @cstishenko: "demand" means buy. If you buy, they will make. You aren't buying, they aren't producing ... pretty straightforward.
  • 3 0
 @lkubica: Stans still makes 26" rims.
  • 1 1
 @cstishenko: it's the lbs choice to stock whatever they want - yes correct. Their only agenda is to make money, they're not gonna do that by trying to force people to do what they alone think is right...and nobody actually walks into a lbs thinks "shit they don't have my tyres, better buy a new bike". The lbs make money by catering to demand. People want the 27.5 shizzle so they stock it, they can't make any money keeping stock of 26" so they don't. Our lbs has a healthy selection of both because there is demand for both in our little area, not all areas are the same. Don't blame the lbs....your fight isn't with them. You could go and smooth out all your trails like a slope track/ BMX track/ pump track then everyone would go back to using 26 cus they're better on that stuff then your lbs would start stocking 26 again. You're welcome
  • 4 0
 @ThomDawson: Catering to demand and Catering to sales are not the same.

If the LBS made 26er parts readily available, they would sell fewer 27.5" bikes this is a fact.
You are correct their agenda is to make money, and the LBS easily makes more money selling bikes than they do tires. If the LBS pushes fewer 26er parts, manufacturers will move fewer 26er parts, in turn slowing production and evolution of 26er parts. I don't blame the end user, I blame those in industry who are becoming greedy.

@DARKSTAR63 Exactly, and that is 100% why I said that. If you support 26", do it. Don't just talk about it.
In my closet hangs new: 1x 26x2.5 Minion DHF 3C DH Maxx Grip, 1x 26x2.3 High Roller II 3C TR EXO Maxx Terra, 1x 26x2.4 Minion DHF 3C TR EXO Maxx Terra. Brand new Process 167 this spring.

@PedalShopLLC I personally think everyone is scared to get "stuck" with 26er stuff, therefore everyone is running with their hands in the air as fast as possible to the latest trend. Buyers or product and producers of product alike. This is a weird weird industry, sport and hobby.

There is so little difference between 26 and 27.5, that it seems ridiculous to completely ditch 26" all together. And I think THAT is what people are up in arms about.
With all the new trends it seems odd to forget where we came from - when it infact isn't that different.
  • 2 1
 @Benito-Camelas: would you consider a decrease in un-fun factor worth it? 27.5 hasn't changed my fun factor, but it's definitely sped me up on boring / hard / boring and hard trails that I ride to and from the fun ones.

Addition by subtraction. Or something.
  • 2 0
 @pigit77: Check out the Black Market Roam as it does all the wheel sizes, with room for plus size tires as well. It also has a couple dropout options for different axle standards. I've been riding one for over two years now and have played with different wheel sizes, angles and travel options and can honestly say they all work extremely well and that it's the most fun bike I've ever owned, not to mention it's held up better than anything else I've ridden.
  • 1 1
 @pigit77: is there a block that lets you use IOS on the phone, so not even the product you're talking about works that way, why would you think a bike would!
  • 1 0
 @bluumax: that's a bloody interesting theory. Never thought of it like that.
  • 2 1
 Most of you are talking about parts for a certain frame. In the back of my mind I'm also concerned about a frame for my parts. I've got several forks, brakes and wheels kicking around for the same frame. Sometimes I run 160mm travel forks, sometimes 100mm, usually something in between. Same goes for the wheels. Sometimes I use the strong wheels, other days I like to run the light wheels. If my frame happens to break, I want something that still fits most of what I have. The steel hardtail world seems to be saved now that Cotic came with the new BFe (no mention on PB news afaik) though it's got a bit more lonely now that Stanton shifted to the bigger wheels. Great bike probably, it is just that I would have to replace some good components to make it work. It will be harder to replace a 140mm full suspension frame that would fit the older standards. If you're not after some amazing performance increase these new standards are supposed to bring, but just want to get your stuff back in working order, you'll be in the cold.
  • 1 1
 @vinay: First world problem?
  • 2 0
 @vinay: In seriousness... there are a couple options. You can go used - there is some 26 out there in great shape and some new old stock too. Transition sells the Supressor, although likely not many so that's not going to last forever. Buy one now- and you should be in good shape. If not, and you last another couple years on what you have, should be time for some new parts anyhow, so make the switch.
  • 2 0
 @DARKSTAR63: I dunno guys. I'm super stoked on my new 26'er after owning 24/26/27.5 and 29. I'm hoping the industry does not leave us completely due to "trends".
  • 2 0
 @cstishenko: I would be stoked on any new bike. It doesn't matter as much as people make it out to. I'm still on a 26 trail bike, a Trek Remedy, because I like it. I wouldn't replace a perfectly good 26 bike just to go with 27.5. With that said, when I do replace it, it will be with a 27.5 or 29. Have not fully decided on that but it wont be a 26. The 27.5 wheels are only slightly bigger, and I think they are an improvement. My DH bike is a 27.5 and I really love it. Better rollover, more available bottom bracket drop, not much weight penalty. The bike screams. I don't think they will ever truly go away, dirt jump bikes will retain 26 inch wheels and slope bikes will still run them. But for a trail bike or Dh bike, 27.5 makes sense.
  • 2 0
 @DARKSTAR63: Agreed it may just be a fear induced by seeing all this new stuff coming out, most of it incompatible with what I'm riding. The new Cotic BFe (designed for either 26" or 27.5" forks running 26" wheels) will be out there for a while so I should be fine. For some reason I don't see many people ride the kind of frames I ride anywhere near so to get one used will be difficult if I want to see before I buy.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: That new Cotic BFE 26 is sweet! I almost bought one; gotta love Cy. I ride a 26" 140mm trail bike, jst upgraded the drivetrain too. Lots of folks ride 26 here. I am however finally building a 27.5/27.5+ stanton hardtail. I though the plus option would be good for off season training.
  • 1 0
 @SteveDekker: Oh yeah, it is not like people aren't riding 26" anymore. But my requirements are to have a low toptube as I like to move around on the bike yet still have a decent length. I'm a bit under 6ft tall but wouldn't get anything with a seattube over 16" (or that 16.5" Stanton) as I like to lean my bike in corners. I'd rather compromise my cockpit length. My current DMR has about 375mm reach (with a 50mm stem), which is short by modern standards and my kneepads do frequently hit the handlebar. And I prefer the feel of steel (or titanium, probably). Seeing as people around here are quite tall and are getting the frames that are actually designed for their length, chances are slim that I'd run into a nice used steel 16" hardtail. I don't mind buying new though, it should last me a while. Actually the DMR is still perfectly fine though I'm becoming more and more aware that I would appreciate a roomier cockpit. I agree that new Stanton with the ability to run plus-sized as well as regular tyres (with that 415mm chainstay length) make it amazingly versatile. It is just that I'm not (yet) willing to jump ship and replace expensive components like forks and rebuild my wheels. Not even so much that I'm not willing to invest, much more that I hate abandoning stuff in still good condition, ditching rims and spokes in order to reuse the hub etc. So for me the BFe 26" would be the better option, also because of the straight seat tube. I don't ride with a dropper, but I do like to drop the seat all the way down. If you have a 400mm seatpost, you're going to need all of that 16" seattube to do that. I'm thinking of building another 24" (plus) rear wheel for winter riding, just for mud clearance. By no means as great as what your Stanton has to offer, but I'll be having fun regardless Smile .
  • 1 0
 Yep, exactly. Got a brand new bike last October and the rear wheel is already obsolete! All for 0 (zero!) performance advantage.
  • 1 0
 @duzzi: Keep buying 26er parts. E-mail your fav company and ask them when the newest version of X part will be avail for 26"… And buy it…

I'd love to go 26x2.6" tires and stick it to these f@gs pushing the 27.5 etc etc etc game. I have the room for it front and rear. Looks like Surly is one of the only ones making a mid-fat 26" tire at 26x2.75" Wonder how much i'd have to shave the knobs to get that baby on and working well??? hahhaha
  • 2 0
 @lkubica: To you and all those of your saying that 26" is dead….

Minion SS just released in 26" www.maxxis.com/catalog/tire-500-121-minion-ss

Now quitcher bitchen and go buy one!

26" isn't dead…. It just isn't the new fad.
And i'm okay with my "old" 2015 Process 167, that slays the up and downhill.
  • 146 15
 @mikelevy Pinkbike gets mostly financed by ads, so basically, you're an industry employee. You also don't buy your bikes new and if you do, you get a huge discount. Probably, your test fleet of new-standard bikes is big enough, so you don't even care how old your trusted steed in your garage is (the one you had before joining the industry).

No wonder you think losing in resale value because of a mostly useless new standard isn't an issue. And don't tell me you're impartial in this.
  • 34 3
 shot fired!! well said.
  • 16 4
 The ABSOLUTE BEST comment here!!!!!
  • 21 3
 YES!, its really hard to take some reviews seriously knowing this is exactly the case. The big sites like PB are pandered to in order to get a better review and the little sites dare not give a bad review for fear of loosing revenue and no longer being sent kit to review. Feels like there is no longer a source for impartial information, and if you dont agree, you're a troll.
  • 9 1
 I wait with baited breath for the response...
  • 6 14
flag sevensixtwo (May 31, 2016 at 12:33) (Below Threshold)
 Someone needs to get laid
  • 25 13
 @Vanguard (and the rest of everyone, for that matter) Pinkbike only gets financed with ads because it is the definitively popular MTB site. Advertising space is only as valuable as the traffic exposed to it. Mike--and all the other PB staff, for that matter--are paid because there are a lot of eyeballs on here every day. If PB is to survive, then the only way to do it is to keep the traffic high by managing their content well. In other words, if they cater to anyone, it's to all you people reading this page. Without traffic, this site would be dead.

As to free bikes: if anything, being free of all or some of the cost consideration leaves someone more free to choose their ride solely based on performance. I can't see how this would possibly hurt the credibility of someone's opinion on which technology is higher-performing. I can, however, think of several reasons why someone who IS considering cost can get a polluted opinion very quickly.

I run a "come to your house" tune-up thing on the side to fund my biking habit, and talk to 5 or 6 new people every week about this stuff. You know how many people I have met that are as angry about the wheel size and changing standards in person? ZERO. I've met a lot of people who ride them and love them, and a lot of people who have old standards that wish they had the cash to shell out for the new standards, but none of the people I meet are as violent and aggressive as the comments I read every day on this site.

Every time I see blows exchanged about how the bike industry is screwing everyone and how the PinkBike staff is biased and this or that or the other, all I understand is that there are a lot of people here who are pissed that they can't afford everything that they want. They're all biased by their own life experiences, and when someone brings new understanding to the table, they shoot it down because they can't or won't be included.

Props to the PinkBike staff for putting up with us, the unrelenting and ultimately insatiable crowd that we are.
  • 4 1
 @zsandstrom: Well answered. It's a catch 22 situation (great read if you haven't already). From memory RC pointed out that if anyone on Pinkbike was found out to be "on the take" the credibility of the whole site would go down the drain.
  • 5 0
 Just a Reminder that this article is categorized ''Opinion'' in ''pinkbike storytellers'' section. So of course it's not going to be impartial..
  • 3 0
 It's what all business do and that is to create profit and get rid of competitors. Just like HP printers for example, they make inexpensive printers every year and hundreds of ink cartages that are never compatable, this way no 3rd party can keep up and profit off a standard, keeps them creating more revenue
  • 9 3
 @zsandstrom: Please don't make the assumption that there are only two demographics here.... those that can afford it and those that can't. There are more!

I and I'm sure a good number of others are in the group of "can afford it, but phucken why spend the money?"

* Whether or not PB caters (or panders) to the industry is besides the point when you consider that advertisers will show up SIMPLY AS A RESULT OF LOT'S OF TRAFFIC.

* Perhaps the anger is the result of feeling like there is no news source that is representative of the reader?

* Don't confuse the demographic you serve in your business, which appears to be more than willing to spend money whether or not they actually need it, with a majority.

* Don't forget, if you ever knew, that ANY capitalist industry (and there are alternatives BTW) prefers conspicuous consumers! Are you sure that isn't the demographic you serve?

Anger is never a preferred state. If you sense anger around here, it's not because peeps "just want to be angry". There's a reason!
  • 6 3
 @zsandstrom: I totally agree that Pinkbike is doing a great job in informing us about new stuff, and it is a great platform with great content.

But I think you are super naive about journalism.

And being critical has nothing to do with can/can't afford. I can afford several new bikes a year, but I don't want to buy into stuff that's just a fad and does not have real value to me. I'm really happy to pay for innovation that makes my riding even more fun.
  • 2 3
 @BDKR: anger is definitely a preferred state for some people. Unless you think racists, bigots, etc have legitimate grievances. Not saying people who hate boost are in the same league as people like that, but some people just like to get/stay fired up about things. Pretty much any forum site has evidence of that, not to mention Fox News and things like that. People love getting mad.

@zsandstrom great post. Most people I meet on the trail have no clue about the standards BS, want it/love it, or are mildly annoyed by it. The PB staff are basically just working stiffs like the rest of us. Nobody is handing them stacks of cash under the table to promote things that suck, and I hate seeing people write comments as if they were a bunch of corrupt shills. Put yourself in their shoes, and think how it would feel to have people shitting on your work and calling out your character every day. It's a bad look to assume the worst in people, and if you see corruption and compromise in everything they do, maybe take a harder look at how you'd act in their situation. You probably see it in yourself too.
  • 3 0
 @zsandstrom: How does any of this have anything to do with the comment that people subsidized by the bike industry shouldn't comment about resale value and new standards making new bikes obsolete as soon as they hit the sales floor when it doesn't affect them at all?
  • 3 1
 @bkm303: LOL..... Mentioning racists is you creating a straw man since you then turn around and dismiss their reasoning.

Do I agree with racists? Obviously not, being black in America. But that does not negate the face that THEY THINK THEY HAVE LEGITIMATE REASON. Anger will exists in a populace whether or not the reasons are legitimate, but there is always a reason.

So you get an E for effort, but an F overall since you are trying to dismiss any and all that disagree via a flawed logical mechanism.

The next logical question is did you "go there" since you have some deep and not understood need to quell the cognitive dissonance of your position? That irrational need to buy all the latest 5h1t regardless of if you'll use it too 100% or even 40% of it's potential?

Seriously, I don't mind having a chat, but don't try to dismiss me and others with something that would smell like BS in high school logic class.
  • 6 0
 @zsandstrom, you kind of have it wrong. PB is a business, their job is to earn a living. The reviews ARE the advertisements. There are contracts that are signed that explicitly detail the exchange of services between PB and the bike cos. The shout out to Transition on this page is fulfilling a requirement laid out (no pun intended) somewhere In the contract. The term for all of this is called high-tech marketing. Not saying that this all isn't entertaining and that there aren't some sincere opinions in the reviews, but let's stop pretending that it's all impartial.
  • 1 1
 @BDKR: the analogy is the same in concept but totally different in degree - and I said so. Obviously most mad people *feel* like they have a reason - that doesn't make their reasons legitimate. Racists are pissed off over a contrived, fictional narrative. It's a bullshit reason to be mad. New hubs and frames are also a bullshit reason to get mad. SRAM is not coming to steal your money or break your bike. They're a company that makes consumer products that made a new product. You're free to exercise your right to not buy it. This narrative of "the industry" being out to get you is utter bullshit. Show me another consumer/recreational product where compatibility is guaranteed year after year.

I'm just saying plenty of people willingly stay mad about all kinds of erroneous shit. It's like a form of entertainment even - people love talk radio, cable news, etc despite (or because of) the fact that it fires them up. It keeps them coming back, and they learn to see the thing they're pissed off about in all aspects of life. I know TONS of people who are constantly angry about things. Bikes, pop music, anime, politics, race, religion, etc. I personally used to hate and get mad about mainstream rap. Then I realized I was acting like a surly backpacker a*shole and learned to chill out about it.

Idk why you're making it personal. I don't see anything in my comment that appears insulting or directed at you. Just making a point that some people LOVE staying angry about stuff.

It's not about me trying to justify buying new shit - I own a clapped out XC 26", a sub-$1500 29er, and a bikesdirect CX bike. I'm content with what I own and ride it as hard as I'm able, and that's why I don't get pissed about standards. Even if I could get the latest and greatest, I wouldn't be pushing it to the limit, so who cares? 99.9% of riders on this site fall into this category - if they don't, they're probably sponsored and get deals on new shit anyway. Someday I'll get a new bike and it'll be sick. The fact that 27.5 boost wheels exist doesn't affect my ability to ride at all. Same goes for everyone here. Which, again, is why I say it's a bullshit, fictional narrative, and it's stupid to be mad about it.
  • 2 0

Please stop equating upset cyclists with racists.

Considering nobody else starting at Vanguards post has specifically said "I'm mad" about "this wheel" or "that hub", might you be making assumptions about why some may be upset? Above I said....

"Perhaps the anger is the result of feeling like there is no news source that is representative of the reader?"

With that in mind, I AM POSITIVE that nobody thinks everything brand new coming from the industry is shite. Instead, people are upset BECAUSE THEY FEEL THERE IS NO IMPARTIAL VIEW FROM MTB MEDIA.

For the longest time, it was the place of news media to be impartial and probative. It doesn't appear to be that way anymore. Instead, it feels like mtb news media has become a mouth piece of various interests. Couple that with the poor support of product over time (brakes and suspension components that can't be rebuilt after a number of years) and I believe the irritation is rational.
  • 90 34
 There's no point in putting gearboxes on XC and Enduro racing bikes. But it is a no brainer for DH bikes. 10-15% ffficiency loss is irrelevant for 3-5 minute track where you pedal for maybe 30 seconds in total, mostly on small cogs. Aaron Gwin may like a light bike but I am more than sure that he would like:

1. 1 pound of weight removed from the end of the swingarm and moved right to the center of mass of the bike.
2. Dishless wheel with narrow hub spacing, allowing for narrower Q factor, thus more rock clearance

Btchn on new stuff? Because it contributes to financing of cutting edge MTB photography on this site.

Mnah, You lost half of your audience by criticizing Shimano brakes anyways... Big Grin
  • 10 4
 Nail it on the head. It also allows the suspension to move more freely and you don't have to worry about broke hangers/derailleur. But it doesn't make sense for a platform where you have to pedal.
  • 56 5
 Gwin doesn't care about what kind of drive train is or is not on his bike.
  • 62 10
 10-15% efficiency loss is a huge deal in a sport where the difference between winning and losing is fractions of a second. I had a very interesting chat with Matti Lehikoinen about efficiency last year - he explained that it's for similar reasons you don't see idler pulleys on race-winning bikes.
  • 53 1

Minnaar's mechanic uses a drill to spin the BB bearings to "almost worn out". Good luck convincing these guys to accept a 10-15 % efficiency loss Big Grin
  • 26 7
 The Shimano part is so true, as soon as you criticize Shimano brakes on Pinkbike you get down voted into oblivion.
  • 39 2
 This is the same story as with dropper posts on XC bikes. They add weight, but allow to save time on tricky sections. But racers and generally bikes are weight-obsessed.

10-15% loss in pedaling efficiency, but what is the increase in suspension efficiency ? Have anyone measured it ? NO. So if you do not do an experiment and properly measure it, you know nothing. This is a basis for physics for few hundred years and it is really a proven method.
Gwin won a WC with 0% pedaling efficiency, remember it!
  • 31 5
 The efficiency loss isn't only when pedalling @WAKIdesigns, The gearbox mechanism is continuously moving, creating drag constantly, so even free-wheeling...
  • 13 0
 @mikeypearman97: I believe (although I might remember incorrectly) that you can still use a freehub with a gearbox, which negates the drag. Although, since the company don't recommend it (not sure why) the test bike didn't come with one...
I'll say what a few others have here, whilst at the moment gearbox bikes are pointless given how good current drivetrains are, it would be nice if more companies weighed in on the R&D as I still believe that gearboxes have potential for longevity, efficiency in mud (where my current setup tends to struggle) and improving suspension with investment. I don't think its fair to write them off so soon.
  • 23 2
"you don't see idler pulley on race-winning bikes"... yet. Wait for a Commencal rider to cross the finish line without a crash and there will be one.
  • 17 4
 @mikeypearman97: not if you put the freehub into the hub instead of having it in the gearbox itself. In such situation nothing is moving on it's own there is no coasting drag increase. And I am not buying this shifting while coasting argument. I am also not buying the wrecking derailleurs argument since it happens extremely rarely on WC circuit

@mattwragg - we are talking efficiency loss in pedalling, but there is efficiency loss with each bump when you have 1 pound of weight attached to the end of the swingarm. I am not speaking some Ti screws for rear brake, removing 10g of unsprung mass, bollocks, I am talking taking away 250g for rear mech, 150g for the cassette and some pennies from the hub.

@OlavA - if that was the issue, any other than mental, no one would race on Hollowtech2 cranksets and go for smoother spinning ISIS BB-cranks interfaces instead. I would put the cuse you describe into the same basket with Peaty running 3 aluminium bolts to his rear brake rotor on World Champs in Canberra

I am not buying this racing argument at all since top XC racers go for marginally but still less efficient single ring setups (chainline), use RS-1 forks and most of them still fail to use a dropper post for improved control and regeneration on descents. Finally not everyone in top 10 is on tubular tyres and not everyone rides a 29er.

DH racers use bikes that are easily 2 pounds heavier than those dudes running pimp my-murdered-out-black carbon sled with green decals. Try to tell them about 400g DH tube.
  • 11 1
 I'm agreeing with the opinion, that gearboxes may make no sense at professional racing level, but to say it's generally bs is just wrong. I see great potential for the wide mass of bikers, especially in terms of reliability, as the using of an open cassette in sometimes muddy and sandy conditions is just madness in an engineer's point of view.

And actually there's still Gwin, who won a WC even without the drivetrain? So I wouldn't point out, as Ikubica already mentioned, the better suspension efficiency when there's no drivetrain influence.

Also I think there's much room for development left in gearbox sector. The derailleur kept evolving for how long until the systems began to be more or less 'hassle-free' in the mtb sector?
  • 3 2
 Not to mention instant gear changes so you don't have to time your shifts perfectly...
  • 2 0
 @OlavA: I think that's the issue - when you believe something its not necessarily based on fact - its a crutch to help you feel faster. GM seems hooked on tweaking his bike set up to the Nth degree so he probably would not go for it but Ratboy might...
  • 6 2
 Chris King himself pointed not long ago that bike brands are here to make profit from us, read hubs/wheelsets that are made overseas sold for the same amount of an American made King hubs. That's what IMO Sram/Shimano don't invest in developing gearboxes: less part that wear out so less profit.

Speaking of King: Syndicate mechanics tear of the double seal of King hubs and replace grease with a thin oil so they obtain a less draggin spin. Don't sure if it works tho...

My next bike if I could afford it would be the new Zerode carbon gearbox enduro sexy af.
  • 5 1
 @mattwragg: Do you mean race winning bikes like in remy thirion´s commencal?
  • 8 0
 @WAKIdesigns: where do you get 10-15% from? Everyone seems to have accepted your numbers without question but I have never seen anything near that. Don't forget that derailleur systems have losses too, so what is important is the net difference in losses between the two systems, which is a few percent.
  • 20 2
 Two main advantages of a gearbox:
1. The drivetrain doesn't catch a ton of mud and it's much easier to clean.
2. It's much less likely to get damaged.

From a Gwin's or any other pro rider's perspective:
1. Doesn't matter because it's their mechanic who will clean their bike.
2. Doesn't matter because the sponsor pays for it.

So talking about a gearbox from Aaron Gwin's perspective is like saying that air conditioning in a car is useless because every car that has ever won a Nascar race was lacking it.
  • 8 2
 @iamamodel: I was making the worst possible example to not be accused of making the facts up to favor gearboxes. Some article I found long ago stated that they go down to 83% or so, while standard drivetrain can go as high as 97, with correctly lubricated, clean, newly broke in chain and cassete, straight chain line on rather big chainring. Out of my arse, but something like that as far as I remember.
  • 5 2
 Anyone doubting the benefits of gearbox DH bikes needs to ride a Zerode. That bike has issues, absolutely, namely weight. However the suspension on that bike is incredible, especially at the pointy end of fast and steep. Drag is less of an issue than engagement on mine, the Alfine hub just isn't as sharp as i'd like, added to the weight penalty it is the bikes Achilles heel. Infact I'll take it out this year and run single speed. Should Shimano create a 4 speed superlight alternative for that bike, and Rob create enough funds to start carbon production, we'd see a bike any pro would be bloody excited to ride.
  • 10 3
 the 10-15% number is just made up. Has anyone actually tested a broken in unit of the newer variety of gearboxes once broken in (seals create most of the drag)? The only tests performed were on old Rohloff gearboxes new, from like the 90s and done on a pretty sad setup and debatable methodology. yes there's a bit more drag, which isn't that far off from a dirty chain with a less than ideal chainline (chains aren't supposed to be angled off a direct chainline) with a chainguide. So lets say more drag, but lets not make up numbers. If there's a break in period for the seals then that should have been taken into account.

Conventional drivetrains have also had substantial amounts of money invested in development. Throw that development into a gearbox and watch the weight go down fast, with efficiency increased. Its the natural progression of product development, which moves faster when more effort is involved (duh). Phenolic gears, drl in a box, etc etc. Lots of ways to go about solving the problems. Don't forget a conventional system is composed of lots of bearings, springs, pivots, etc. and has benefited from great efforts to evolve it to where it is today. how many years? And what do we have? A slimmer system with narrow wide and an electrical shifting option. Still prone to pivots loosening. Still prone to free-hub drag. Still prone to contamination of the mechanism via foreign objects or damage from crashes. etc etc.

Why do you think Honda wanted to develop a gearbox bike when they had a blank canvas. The same honda that races F1, MotoX, Supermoto, etc etc..... The teams of engineers with zero bike industry reach-arounds developing a world beating bike wanted a gearbox... go figure eh... And guess what, they won races, on this system that according to PB would be a huge disadvantage... lol.
  • 2 0
 @TopperharleyPT1: very good point on the number of gears. How many gears do people actually change? Ive gone down to 3 speed on my 4X an looking into 7-6 or possibly lower for my DH rig. Reduce the speeds in a gearbox for gravity an it would be a lot more serious possibility
  • 3 0
 @nojzilla: I believe pinion is doing this.
  • 3 0
 Also, a gearbox would allow you to shift gears without pedaling in a DH race. Which could be hugely beneficial as in most areas you cannot safely pedal to shift without clipping rocks.
Being able to shift in the middle of a huge rock garden? Yes please
  • 2 2
 @Giladgu: putting freehub into the gearbox creates too much unnecessary drag. Put it into the hub and learn to shift otherwise it makes no sense to make a gearbox.
  • 1 0
 @mattwragg: I think the point is that in DH, where they are only pedaling on a fraction of the course, it may be a worthwhile trade off if you are making gains elsewhere.
The two noteworthy runs by Gwin and Neko Mullaly without chains highlight this fact. Obviously, they weren't pedaling at any efficiency level...
But it is feasible they had better suspension action due to not having a chain and derailleur interaction with the suspension. (you can test this by turning off the clutch on shimano derailleurs).
Unsprung weight and a stronger wheel are two more benefits.
  • 5 0
 WAKI This is the smartest thing you said this year so far.
  • 3 2
 @mattwragg: Then you need to stop talking to Matti . I wonder why he still think he has a chance to podium one day.
As for the efficiency loss go, moving the weight from the rear of the bike to the middle makes out for the efficiency loss and then some.
  • 4 0
 @atrokz: All true - but that's also the same Honda that abandoned that whole effort...
  • 2 0
 @g-42: Yup. There were a few reasons for it, what I recall iirc was they accomplished what they wanted and moved on.
  • 5 4
 @g-42: Martin Whiteley said it clear: Honda sntered MTB because they hoped for getting something out of it in terms of R&D for MX and publicity in general. MTB world failed their expectations, they said: we can't learn anything here, thank you for your time, we bugger off. This is why they pulled out, leave any tech related to that bike, out of that decision.

Honda was like second coming of Jesus, so is Öhlins these days setting the flag at the top of suspension Everest. We may get electronicaly controlled valving for XC (Öhlins now went mental with it for motorcycles) but you can mark my words: no breakthrough in managing fluid dynamics, using valves and shims will happen in your life time. Öhlins is here, this is the end.

So it is with the classic drivetrain for DH bikes. It is over, X0 DH hasn't brought anything new but clutch, with X01DH being a joke. I have no clue what they plan to do with Saint but gearbox is a natural thing to do for Shimano. Release a cable operated one, then make electronic version
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: agree. yea that's what I remember honda being on about. they mulled the possibility of releasing the RN01 then said F it and left.

A servo actuated saint gearbox would be amazing. Really only need 6ish gears. imagine two buttons on each side for up and down, simple and clean wiring.
  • 1 0
 @Boardlife69: He doesn't even need a drive train!
  • 1 1
 and yeah that shimano gerabox sounds promising
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: and not mention you gt much more for your money in a dirt bike
  • 1 0
 @OlavA: interesting, and also hilarious that the segment they show immediately after he doesn't pedal at all haha
  • 1 0
 @atrokz: the funny thing with Hondas gearbox is it was an XTR deraileur with a custom cassette in a box so Hondas bike didn't really have a gearbox in the normal meaning of the word.

Even when going down the gearbox route they ended up with a deraileur and that says a lot i think. It's not so much the deraileur system that is flawed, it just needs to be moved.
  • 1 0
 @feeblesmith: they tried three iterations and yea, ended up with gears in a box (gearbox, doesn't matter how done, is gears in an enclosed 'box' Wink ). The pinion is a nicer and more evolved solution but even just a drl in a box would be a nice improvement and would allow people to work on it themselves.
  • 4 0
 @atrokz: @atrokz: this independently produced efficiency chart is kicking about (includes pinion, rohloff, alfine). no idea of testing details. the thin line is efficiency at 50w input, the thick at 200w.

  • 1 0
 @xy9ine: very cool, thanks. The rohloff is interesting. 95% in one gear which matches SS. ver cool. I wonder how they determined this and what test process was used.
  • 2 0
 @mattwragg: they win DH courses chainless these days.
But more seriously thats pretty much the point, 10%, 15% loss on pedaling in DH but 50% gain on weight distribution might yield higher win rates.

Sure, for XC, the pedaling efficiency is more important.
  • 1 0
 note that "Kettenschaltung" is derailleur, which isn't that far above a rohloff and is probably for a clean chain, un stretched, no chainguide, with optimal chainline.
  • 2 0
 @mattwragg: Surely having a chain with 15% efficiency loss while pedalling is better than not having a chain at all, Mullally and Gwin didn't seem to have too many issues there.
  • 1 1
 @xy9ine: classic drivetrain seems to be presented as constant through the gearing range which is impossible, as nr of teeth changes as well as chainline.
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: its listed as Kettenschaltung which is the orange line, and yes it's not correct that it's a straight line. As you add pulleys (chain guide) or throw off chainline the number would change. Goes to show how the 'efficiency' argument for a DH bike is kind of stretching the truth, and that the benefits of a better performing suspension (less unsprung weight is empirical improvement to suspension) could outweigh it.
  • 1 0
 @atrokz: the rohloff is at 1:1 in that gear.
  • 1 0
 @xy9ine: yea, figured. Didn't know it was that free though.
  • 2 1
 @atrokz: And why did Alan Millyard have a gearbox on the DH bike he built. Pinkbike please review the Millyard bike and this discussion can continue. Gearboxes are the future. Once everyone accepts that we will be better off.
  • 2 1
 @Giladgu: and a much narrower and stiffer rear wheel.
  • 2 1
 @ReformedRoadie: Didn't Gwin say the suspension worked better without the chain?
  • 2 1
 @WAKIdesigns: Shimano already has an E-bike engine. I could see them releasing a DH gearbox which will filter down.
  • 1 0
 @fartymarty: Exactly. Like I said, you can feel a difference with just the clutch turned off.
  • 2 0
 @feeblesmith: A mech in a box is still a gearbox in my eyes. As long as its fixed to the frame (around the BB) and is in a box it's a gearbox. The benefits of a "gearbox" are:

1) reducing unsprung weight,
2) a narrower rear end
3) putting your gearing in a box so it doesn't break / bend and weathers better.

A mech in a box does all of these.
  • 2 1
 @ReformedRoadie: Chris Porter (Mojo) isn't a fan of clutch mechs either for the same reason. They affect the suspension.
  • 1 1
 @fartymarty: you'll still need some form of chain retention for a gearbox bike.
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Gates Drive maybe?
  • 1 0
 @xy9ine: FYI Testing detail is here: fahrradzukunft.de/20/wirkungsgradmessungen-an-nabenschaltungen-3

I interestingly enough the Speedhub has quite high efficiency. It was stated that it had done 2000km. The pinion was quite new so I can imagine efficiency would improve slightly.
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns How does a narrower Q factor give you better rock clearance? Q factor is the width between the crank arms and DH racers want wider Q factors for better stability. A narrower Q factor is better for pedalling but Q factor has no relevance to clearance.
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Not if you use a chain that runs around the pivot or a double chain like the Zerode, BMW etc. Double chains are less efficient but it's a DH bike so no great loss anyway. It's a bit trickier for Enduro bikes but I would rather live with a tensioner than a rear mech.

@Highclimber Gates belt drives still need a tensioner if the pivot and front chainring are at different locations. The only way around it would be to design a linkage with zero chain growth through the full travel. That's probably very tricky to do and you would end up with inferior suspension to having a tensioner and its effect on the suspension.
  • 1 0
 @fartymarty: I don't think a chain tensioner placed right behind the gearbox would create too much trouble for the suspension so it gets necessary to make double chains, adding at least 200g more weight to already hefty system.
  • 31 1
 supercross racers battle every weekend for 17 rounds, including practice, qualies, heats and main events, then move straight into 12 rounds of motocross! im sure our DH racers would love to race more! bring on more money for more world cup rounds!
  • 5 4
 How's the doping/anti-doping problem in SX ?
Legit question, I don't follow that at all and seeing that the other calendar example is about EPO and hidden motors, maybe requesting more physical effort isn't a good idea...
  • 6 0
 @jissse: So far as reaches the media, there isn't any. Drug tests are frequent and random and I suspect would screw up any timed avoidance techniques. James Stewart got caught out for using Aderrall, an ADHD treatment drug he'd failed to declare a prescription for. They're pretty strict. On top of that, compared to going 35 minutes + 2 laps, twice in one day, on a rough track in 35*C heat (Motocross), SX is pretty easy going.

A friend of mine is a partner in a Belgian motocross magazine/website (mxmag.be) and runs a competitive motocross team that attends MXGP rounds. Over the years I've heard no mention of substance abuse, but a lot of mention of how bloody hard the riders train.

All that said, they'll be one scrot doing it and getting away with it, but it doesn't matter, because fitness doesn't win races by itself and excellent cardio health is no substitute for muscle memory, strength, flexibility, mental acuity, determination, talent, experience and speed.

As, primarily, a motocross fan who enjoys downhill (rather than the other way around), I can't understand why there's so few races! Or so few timed runs. If more physical effort, a longer season, leads to cheating, then I pity the rider that gets caught first because the backlash from the fans would be incredible. I just can't imagine the downhill guys having such little integrity they'd resort to illegal methods...
  • 1 1
 @jissse: based on what an insider told me there is a huge drug use problem for the moto guys. Not sure why it's not covered in media more. I know one of the dads and he said the demanding physical and mental stress the riders are put through is too much for some and they abuse pain killers etc.
  • 1 1
 @jissse: I totally agree! I'm sure there is room for a few more rounds, but more than a dozen would start to put a lot of pressure on the athletes and may lead to people starting to use substances to be on the top all the time. Looking at hockey, American football, football, rugby, etc. there is no chance actual humans can follow up with that amount of competition... And if you add up the XC, Enduro and DH, the calendar is not all that empty to follow anymore. We still need time to on rides in between :-D
  • 4 0
 @FlavienB: et al. How about a 12 round series, with best 10 finishes figured for points? The big budget teams would hit all rounds and get the product exposure they are paying for and small teams/privateers could pick which ten to hit and still have some hope of moving up to "full factory" status.
  • 2 0
 They have to make the marketing dollars make sense, and I hope they figure it out soon. Anecdotally I can say that when I'm riding up fromme after a world cup event I see droves of people on trail/enduro bikes talking about the DH race. The bike I'm about to buy is an enduro bike that is only on my radar because of their DH worldcup presence - I wonder if this is the case everywhere, and if some money thrown at EWS would be better spent on DH WC even when companies are pushing their AM bikes
  • 1 0
 @codypup: I think that it would be a pretty sweet idea!
  • 1 1
 As much as I'd love the DH season to be as long as the F1 season, I feel like it's such a brutal sport on the competitors' bodies that if there were significantly more races nobody would be left standing at the end of it.
  • 20 0
 " 26" is dead "

Apart from the ten million plus 26" bikes still in use..

Also, the fastest time down near my local DH track is set by a guy on a 2001 Stumpy (showing its not the bike but the rider.... no not me before u ask!)
  • 17 1
 Nevermind the first time Ratboy won was on a 26" against a horde of 27.5's.
  • 13 0
 Last Megavalanche was won by a guy who put 26" wheels in his 27.5" bike.
  • 4 0
 26 is the major wheel size on Earth... There is a real need to continue the production... Customers ARE THERE
  • 25 3
 For all the retards that think the screw doesn't do any thing

  • 1 0
 Uh oh. I see an apology coming up...somebody missed this! Imagine how many people just did that. Yikes.
  • 2 2
 And if you don't have free stroke adjustment like on SLX or Deore brakes, try this. Remove your wheel from the bike. Measure the thickness of your disc using a dial caliper or micrometer. Take that measurement and subtract about .020" from it. Make up a spacer that is the same size, I use feeler gauges. Now stick the feeler gauges, or spacer in between the brake pads and pump the lever until the pads clamp down on the spacer.

Put your wheel back in the bike and check out your new bite point. You may have to adjust the size of the feeler gauges/spacer to get it exactly the way you like it. In other words it may be more or less than .020".

Make sure to top off your reservoir, no need to bleed.

Not my brilliant idea, but I read it somewhere and it works great!
  • 7 8
 I was going to post this same video myself! = up vote.

Use of the word ‘retard’ in a derogatory manner = down vote.

No points for you.
  • 2 1
 @Endurahbrah: This will work until the pads are so much worn that the automatic pad wear thing compensates and shifts the pistons. Of course you could do this again if you just keep the spacer you made. I don't see the point of topping up the reservoir though. The amount of oil has nothing to do with free stroke. When you don't pull the brake lever, the system is actually open so that the reservoir and the rest of the system are connected. Then when you squeeze the lever, the master piston moves past that port and turns it into a closed system for that short while. The position of that port indeed has something to do with the bite point, but you can't affect it with the amount of oil in the system. By overfilling the reservoir, there is not enough space for the expanded oil to go when it heats up and the brake could lock up.
  • 2 0
 Call me a retard but after no end of tinkering with Shimano brakes, I found that screw totally pointless. Got some Hope E3's to replace them and the adjustments actually work. Can't fault Shimano for the money but you can only replace so many master cylinders in a lifetime!
  • 1 0
 @vinay: The topping off isn't to affect the bite point, or free stroke. You are correct.

What you're doing is pushing the pistons out a little bit further than they were, essentially making a larger volume for the entire system.

You "may" need to top off the reservoir if the pistons are pushed out a lot. I've always topped off, just because.
  • 1 0
 @Endurahbrah: A regularly filled open hydraulic brake has easily enough oil in the reservoir to allow for the pistons to move out that much. After all, there is enough oil to accidentally push the pads against each other when there is no disc brake rotor in between (not recommended). So there will easily be enough to have them pushed out a tad bit more than regular with the rotor actually in place. The downside I mentioned of topping off the reservoir with the slave pistons not pushed all the way back is that you end up with less room in the reservoir for expanded oil. So you're getting the downsides but not really gaining anything in return.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: I guess I never experienced any of the downsides. I'll have to try it next time without topping off.
  • 28 6
 Troll bait level 3/10. Try harder next time.
  • 22 1
 I just really, really, really want that Transition Patrol...
  • 1 6
flag angelfuk (May 31, 2016 at 11:47) (Below Threshold)
 Buy a Black Market Roam instead. Bike's been around for 6 yrs with the same geometry that transition stole this year. Plus its adjustable between 26-29" wheels.
  • 17 2
 The guys who support this new-standard-every-day trend essentially just keep repeating "what's wrong with innovation?". I'll tell you what's wrong - half-assed innovation. That seems to be all we have in the MTB world. Anyone can look at an existing piece of tech and find ways to improve it. Yippie. It's the guy who can look at it, find a way to MASSIVELY improve it, and not completely disrupt the market (whether on purpose or not). Pivot's new Switchblade comes to mind with "Super Mega Boost Plus" or whatever they call it. This is what Boost should have been from the start. We all like the spirit of Boost - the stronger wheels made possible, and who doesn't like more space with a better chainline? But Pivot took it the necessary step further by using an EXISTING spacing standard. So simple, yet HUGE in its effect. Now guys can buy a brand new Switchblade frame and re-use their existing 12x157mm Enve wheelset they spent $2500 on two years ago...or pick one up in Buy/Sell and ride happily for a season or two before upgrading to a Super Mega Boost Plus wheelset. The problem is that doing things that way means that Enve doesn't sell as many wheelsets, and 12x157mm wheels on the used market will disrupt the sales of new wheelsets for years to come. Who wants that (besides every rider ever)?

In short, creating something completely new, that improves on a previous design but is not compatible with anything prior is not innovation. Creating something that improves on a previous design but STILL WORKS WITH THAT DESIGN...now THAT'S innovation!
  • 2 4
 I don't get what's so good about 12x157mm. Correct me if I'm wrong, but they are used in DH bikes, so I guess it shouldn't be too popular and besides that, I don't think nobody want to use the same wheels in a DH bike and a trail bike (assuming wheels for DH are heavier).
  • 4 0
 I was quite surprised at the negativity towards that Pivot you know! The guy singlehandedly out-boosted boost with existing components and a little ingenuity and everyone complains. I thought that was genius and really quite funny...
  • 4 0
 @passwordpinkbike: The point is the the hubs are available. So you can pick up 12x157 hubs on buy/sell and build them with an AM rim, or even buy a complete wheelset and replace the rims. You can buy the brand new frame, and save money on the wheelset, rather than needing a brand new wheelset too.
  • 1 1
 @TheRaven: But again who's gonna use the same wheelset in a DH and a trail bike?. You are just saying that you need to do the same that with a 12x148 hub, you still need to buy a new hub!
  • 2 0
 @passwordpinkbike: No, with 12x157, you can buy a USED hub, or a CHEAP hub, or, if you want, an expensive hub. Or even a wheel. The point is you have a billion choices. With 12x148, you have to buy a boost hub, from one of the few manufacturers that currently offers them, at a huge price premium.
  • 16 4
 I think you kind of missed the point on the gearbox thing. I think most people are just sick of hanging $250 off the back of their bike just waiting to slap it with a rock. Gearboxes are protected and from what I'm aware of they have far bigger service intervals than that of a traditional derailleur-driven drivetrain. Yes, a current 1x system is simple, but the gearbox is theoretically more headache-free. Also, I'd imagine that pro riders ride a lot of what they're paid to, and because there are no popular gearbox-based bike companies other than Zerode, there is no money to sponsor teams/notable riders. More people would ride them if there were more options. Also, yes gearboxes are hard-functioning, but they've have nowhere near a massive amount of R&D in the cycling world. SRAM and Shimano won't have it. The second that the Zerode Taniwha goes in to production, you'd better believe I'm saving my pennies.
  • 1 1
 Exactly. Firstly - I ride a 32lb 29er hardtail. I don't overly give a crap about a 5% inefficieny. Losing 10 kg will more than make up for that.

Secondly - I am glad Rob / Zerode is finally getting some press / credit. I am still riding a Keewee he helped design back in the late 90's and it's still a great bike.
  • 17 6
 "If you look online, you can still find all sort of parts for 26'' wheels"
A couple of my LBS's don't even carry 26" tires anymore, and what makes the whole 27.5" size ridiculous,
is it's only about an inch taller than 26", and the wheels fall into the same fricken holes 26" wheels do.
29" wheels are REALLY different than 26(and even 27.5)", thus they're totally legitimate.
Long travel bikes even employ 29" wheels now days, so you end up getting the best of both worlds.
Having fallen for the 27.5" craze only to be completely let down however, IMO they're not what the manufacturers,
AND BIKE RAGS/WEBSITES claim them to be. I get them on DH bikes, simply because being taller(even though they're just barely), they end up rolling faster.
Then we have 'Boost'. Talk about complete HORSESHIT. Tell me WHY they just didn't go with 12x150mm again?
And I saved the 'best'(worst) for last: so-called 'METRIC' shocks.
I like to think of myself having [at least] average intelligence and common sense, but I STILL don't get it. WHY did it take this 'change' to make shocks better again?
And it just so happens that, yes, YOU'LL HAVE TO BUY A NEW BIKE TO GET 'EM. Shocking, eh?
My opinion is this: The bike industry saw a HUGE increase in profits when the 29" craze took hold, but once everyone who had to have one, did, profits started to taper off.
It was logical that they chose-yet again- a different wheel size to try to spur a sales spike again, which is why we saw the 27.5". Giant even dedicated damn-near their whole fuggin line to it, and contrary to what the writer of this article said about 26" parts availability, stores/distributors do NOT carry 'massive' amounts of 26" [tires] stuff anymore. So much for 'customers dictating what stores carry', it's more like manufacturers and distributors decided to simply turn off the spigot to FORCE people to buy the latest craze- OR SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCES!
Now we have wider rims-and worse- NEW HUB SIZES, but I fear the King of 'em all is gonna be the WORTHLESS so-called 'Metric' shocks, and this is because you're gonna have to buy a new bike to get 'em, and while people out of touch with reality-such as apparently the writer of this article- will say that you'll still be able to get replacement shocks/parts for your current frame, those of us in THE REAL WORLD know better!
EVERYBODY(as in manufacturers and stores) benefit when customers are forced to buy NEW BIKES as opposed to simply MAINTAINING THEIR CURRENT ONE(S), and they've already shown that they're totally willing to make customers buy what they sell, vs. selling what customers want, so come 2017, the clock will be running extremely short on ALL of our current bikes.
That is unless we FINALLY stand up as a GROUP and say E-N-O-U-G-H>!
We can start NOW by refusing to buy bikes with Boost hubs, 'Plus' size wheels, and so-called 'metric' shocks.
Unfortunately, I don't see this happening.
Oh, and as far as WC DH races, yeah, I totally agree with that one. You can't have a championship series with just 6-7 races, and you can't tell us that a) it's cost prohibitive, when everybody in the biking industry is making money hand-over-fricken-fist. THEY CAN AFFORD IT. And, b) too dangerous for the riders. As the writer pointed out, the Supercross season is LONG-17 or so races, and damn-near all of them are only a week apart.
But WAIT...there's MORE! Just a week or so after the conclusion of the SX season, the 'Outdoors' season starts. This is of course the MX series which takes places on the nation's 'best' out-door MX tracks.
And these tracks are BRUTAL. They're not a bunch of jumps and monster whoops like SX tracks, but they are bumpy as hell, and HEAVILY rutted, which saps the energy out of you. And these races are 30mins PLUS I believe 3 laps, and there's TWO races per class, per weekend! This series has around 12 rounds, after which riders get a WHOPPING month(or thereabouts) break before the big Vegas SX race takes place in October, only to be followed by the start of the SX season the first week of January.
Obviously a lot of these guys get [multiple] injuries throughout the year, but that's part of it, and the series couldn't be more popular.
IMO, the WC DH series should be NO LESS than 12 rounds.
And another thing. The winner of the series should be the World Champion. Enough of this one-race 'World Championship'.
Not only is it confusing as all heck, but one race does NOT a champion make.
  • 9 10
 The argument that 26 and 27.5 is essentially the same is such BS. I own all 3 sizes, and my 27.5x2.3 trail tires are significantly larger in diameter when compared to my 26x2.5 DH tires. They do have better roll over than 26", no question at all if you've ever ridden similar 26 vs 27.5 bikes/tires back to back.

Personally I think engineers should build the best OEM bikes they can, standards be damned. I don't want a compromised design just so you can use a standard hub/crank/whatever, I want the best bike. I'd like to see some consolidation in the industry so we get companies who are large enough to build the whole damn bike as an integrated system instead of having to use standardized parts as a crutch.
  • 2 1
 The comparison between mountain biking and Motocross have a few fundamental flaws.
1. Do you pay a ticket price to watch the WC DH events? Both live and on tv/interenet? I have been to supercross and it ain't free. They earn money from the gate. I watch it on FOXSports which has commercials and technically, I pay for in my cable package. WC DH is streamed pretty much commercial free on a free site. More events = more money.
2. continuing w/ money - the sport has way less money involved overall, so there are limitations for teams to fly all over the world for world cup events.
3. For the most part, you only buy motorcycles as complete bikes. Upgrades are built and designed by model. You are not buying a new frame or set of wheels that mush match your existing parts.
  • 1 0
 the winner of the world Cup should be world champ I totally agree but try to convince UCI than Stevie would've been world champ in 2013
  • 1 0
 the SX and MX do more racing in 2 months than MTB DH racers in a year
  • 23 13
 You know what Mike, Well f*cking said.
I can see both sides of all the arguments there and i'm sure there are many who think the same, I think it's just abit of a Pinkbike thing to complain about everything and therefore noone wants to voice the other side of the opinion in fear of being shat on...
A brilliant read! Smile
  • 12 2
 When the Rohloff hub first came out, it was the same weight as XTR. It has barely changed since then but XTR has had nearly twenty years of refinement and lots of cash thrown at it. Nearly every downside listed by Mike could be overcome with the right resources... I hope. Child aspirin, Whitney - funny.
  • 2 0
 the marketing wank at the time may have suggested the rohloff was ~about the same weight as a 3x drivetrain, but this was not the case - actually around 2lbs heavier. that said, the rohloff in my now 9 yr old lahar (sadly hasn't seen much use lately) has run flawlessly without any maintenance other than an oil change. a transmission that lasts the life of the bike - pretty novel. the additional drivetrain drag is certainly discernible however (and the rohloff appears to test more efficiently than the pinion).

i used to be a huge gearbox nerd, but now i'm on the fence as to their future viability in high performance / race applications. as mike says, derailleur drivetrains are really good these days. in a bomber park bike, or an expedition backcountry or touring rig that favors durability and lack of maintenance over weight and efficiency, i think they make great sense.
  • 3 0
 @xy9ine: Can you please post some piccys of your Lahar. They were way ahead of their time.
  • 12 2
 ok, I'll answer:
1: it does do something, just not anything anyone wants. Run the screw through both extremes and note where the lever lands relative to the bar when the brake is locked. The screw will move it a good centimeter. Then adjust it to where you actually want it; and you're back at where it came from the factory
2: Gimmick. If n/w was good on the ring it must be good elsewhere.
3: People spend a lot, probably too much on, bikes and parts. Then something better comes along and it's obsolete. Is it really hard to understand why someone would be upset when they dropped close to a grand on a hub set they though (foolishly) was going to last the rest of their life, only to discover that it won't fit on their next frame? Ask someone about their Chris King hubs and they'll say "yeah it's expensive but they'll last forever." The truth is more like "they'll be obsolete before they wear out"
4: deralleur/chain systems are well into their evolution. Probably near the end in fact; there's really no where else for them to improve, which is why Sram is just cramming more gears on there (honestly who wanted 12 or even 11 gears vs more range on 10?). Gearboxes are the answer to quesitons deralleurs aren't asking: like why do I have better than $400 worth of wear parts on a XO1 drivetrain that I need to replace at least once a year, and why do I have a $300 derailleur hanging in the most vulnerable place possible on a bike, just waiting for the tiniest stick to destroy it and leave me walking out of the woods. I think people are satisfied with how finicky derailleurs are because we've gotten used to it, kind of like how people say BB7 cable brakes are simple, even though they require a lot more fiddling than most any hydraulic. I'm not saying gearboxes are the universal answer, I am saying that the calls for a lower-maintenance, less fragile drivetrain are reasonable.
5: Racing: I don't get it. In fact, professional sports in general: watching someone else do something rather than doing it yourself? I have a hard time imagining anything more boring.
  • 1 0
 @Weens So you don't watch any bike videos?
  • 8 0
 @Pedro404: I think of bike vids kind of like porn: there are millions of them, they are all basically the same/if you've seen one, you've more or less seen them all, and the only time I'd ever watch one is if it had been a long time and there was basically zero chance of participating.
  • 3 0
 @Weens: Okay, I can't say I agree, but that's a hilarious comparisonBig Grin
  • 1 0
 @Weens -
I can see the case for N/W pulley wheel. The pulley wheel positions the chain laterally relative to the cassette. Your chain is N/W; using just narrow teeth on the pulley wheel would give up a little bit of precision. Thing is, Shimano produces very nicely shifting, precise RDs with uniform pulley wheels, so it seems like a bit of a wasted effort.

Re. those Chris King hubs - I don't think the case for those is that they last forever (although that's often being said). There's no functional reason to spend that amount of money of these, rather than the cheaper high-end offerings from the big guys. There is, however, an aesthetic set of reasons to do so - people appreciating the craftsmanship, the sound, the bling factor, whatever.

$300 derailleurs hanging in harms way? Short of DI2 (and perhaps the new 12sp XX1, what MTB RD is $300? You're replacing $400 in wearparts on your XO drivetrain every year? Damn, I wish I got to ride that much. I'm hitting trails about 4-5 days a week, and a cassette and chainring will last me at least 1 1/2 years (I do keep things fairly clean, since it's muddy around here - and I do replace chains). Yes, I'd love my drivetrain to require less maintenance, and I'd love it to be more bulletproof. But the current state is pretty damn tolerable; and there's real improvement even compared to just a few years ago (I got back to the sport in 2010 - what a leap from the mid 90s; but even in just the past 6 years, wow, there's a real difference in terms of getting better stuff at lower price points).
  • 2 0
 @g-42: Pulleys, eh I don't really care. Shimano do kind of the opposite with intentional 'float', and I think they shift better than Sram; probably more a matter of preference though.

What I was saying about King or other 'high end' hubs is that people that spend a ton on them expecting to use them for a long time are understandably upset. For me the difference between a $60 shimano hub and a $400 king is that I don't worry about buying a new one every frame (and I can use the brake rotors I want).

ok, I exaggerated on the price of derailleurs it seems like most of the Sram lineup is north of $200 though, and it's always a slender thread. I've destroyed $200 worth of derailleur and hanger riding through tall yet oddly strong grass. And inevitably this happens 20 miles from home or the car. I've had 4-5 year stretches without problems, but I've had years when I went through 3 derailleurs.

$400/ year: $250 cassette and 2-3 chains (and of course now that I'm looking at numbers to back that up I see that lower price chains have come out in the last couple months; I feel like late last year, the cheapest Sram 11s chain was $50). Maybe I'm getting old and grumpy. I started riding in the late 80s when a chain was $7-8 and a top of the line cassette was $30.
Point is look at the maintenance/mile on a car vs a bike. I find it ridiculous. I suspect that we're kind of victims of the 'gotta have what the pros are riding' mentality; a pro needs a mtbf/mttr of one race; a couple hours at most, and can't tolerate any extra weight or friction. I think most of us could tolerate both in exchange for longer service intervals. I believe a well designed/executed gearbox could get to car-like service intervals - change the gearbox oil every 3000 miles, as opposed to new chain every 500, lube probably every 30. I'd be willing to live with a couple watts of drag and a few grams for that.
  • 1 0
 @Weens: I think that's an interesting point about carrying hubs from frame to frame. Hadn't really thought about that.

As for RDs - GX goes for under $100; X1 for about $130. It's not that you get what you pay for (because moving up to X01 or XX1 gets you only very marginal improvements in shifting; I think that's mostly a matter of gram shaving and bling factor at that point), but that you pay for what you get (as in, going for the premium/high end versions will cost you when something does happen).

Your point on maintenance intervals is well taken. If you look at where we've come from, then today's equipment is remarkably resilient. If you compare it to other sectors (like cars, or even motorcycles), then maybe not so much.
  • 1 0
 Chris King sells axles to convert hubs from one bike to another
  • 1 0
 @scrippsranchDJ: I know most hubs can have their end caps switched too, but I think with boost the position of the brake rotor is out without some bodge adaptor (which may work very well!) hence the frustration..?

I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong...
  • 1 0
 @g-42: 1 1/2 years is still far too often to be replacing a $200+ cassette. $200+ is far too much for a cable-actuated derailleur of ANY kind. When both XTR and Saint mechs are out there for $150ish brand new, there's just no excuse. But that's a different rant altogether.
  • 1 0
 @TheRaven: I agree completely, last time I needed a new X01 cassette, I just switched everything to M8000 for about the same price; $65 derailleurs, $65 cassettes, and I think it shifts better. It does weigh a little more and I give up the 10 that I basically never used.

I think the real trend in MTB parts in the next few years is going to be price revolt. Bikes got a lot better, and a lot more expensive really fast in the last 5 or so years, but the improvements seem to be slowing down (and a lot of them, like boost, seem like they're just grasping). Now that everyone makes a 27" enduro bike with similar geometry and features, how much longer can anyone charge a premium for it?
  • 1 0
 @Weens: when I built up my current bike I was amazed at the price difference between Shimano and Sram. I've always been a fan of Shimano but wanted a Sram drivetrain this time round, until I saw it would cost about twice as much (there's been some REALLY Good Shimano groupset deals with brakes recently). I just can't justify cassettes that cost £100+, however technically impressive they are... M8000 is a good performer, reasonable weight, and incredible price...
  • 10 1
 Exactly. The hate is fookin well deserved. What about spare parts availability on holiday for example? How does that work with ever increasing number of standards? Sure, to improve products, which already are fairly advanced, it takes changing interfaces once in a while. But it has gotten out of hand.
And then there is more overhead cost per variant (development cost, logistics, tools) in this world of ever increasing new bullshit variants, that won't lead to growth of the overall market.
Eff boost, eff boost again, then eff 35mm bars, all newer bb standards, 1 billion chainring mounting standards, plus tires. Don't know what about new shock sizes, but I'd rather see it as an april fools' joke, I think.
It is all about the gain vs. the pain, and that relation has been absolutely spoiled since 2 or 3 years in a lot of cases. So Why the effin hate? That's why Levy. That's why.
Absolutely lovin my new agressive long travel 29er with dropper post, best allround bike ever from XC to DH even, but all the stuff above won't lead to such senstations...
  • 7 0
 I want a new bike, but I have no clue. Plus size? fat? Suspension? How much travel? What axle standard? What headset? What BB? What geo? I've given up. Got a 6er with 150mm travel and SLX with a threaded BB, I'll stick with that because it seems like industry sponsored bicycle musical chairs, and I know I like what I have, sure I'd like more modern geo, but it's not worth the hassle and potential future part redundancy.
  • 6 0
 Ooohh those narrow wide pulley wheels! SRAMS 11 speed system are so good and I have been riding it since the XX1 came out. Have dropped my chain 3 times in 3 ears but had those damn pulley wheels come untimed uncountable times. I Have been thinking of taking them off and grind down the wide teeth.
  • 3 0
 I recently swapped frames and this happens all the time now! Infuriating and (possibly) unnecessary!!
  • 3 0
 The pulley issue never happened to me (GX derailleur with XT cassette and chain). Maybe im just lucky.
  • 3 0
 Never even heard of the pulley issue. Guess i'm just lucky that it doesn't happen on my bikes.
  • 1 0
 Never dropped a chain on the pulley, but they seem to hold more dirt and are harder to clean.
  • 1 0
 I've been running my x01 for two seasons and this pulley issue just started a month ago for some reason. Now, it gets out of wack literally on every ride. Quite annoying. But super easy to fix, guess it's not that big of a deal.
  • 2 0
 I get a rumble every once in a while, an icky chunky feeling when I'm in my lower gears...I've always chalked it up to the pulley vs. big cogs vs. mud. Mud which sometimes isn't there. I now suspect it's this outta sync-ism, and I want someone to do the strange math associated with it: I have a 30t chainring, xx1 cassette (what is that?--42-11?).

I started thinking the number of links in my chain would matter, even or odd, but no no no that doesn't seem right. It goes wide tooth narrow tooth wide tooth narrow tooth, as do the cassette and chainring. So, wait. What? So I shift to a cog with an odd number of teeth to get it back on track, but shift back to an even-toothed cog before it gets out of sync?

Not even high right now.

I'm just gonna blame mud again.
  • 6 0
 We need more DHI events. End of. In comparison to other cycling disciplines, DH could easily cater for a few more but people it's up to us. Let's not leave it to the manufacturers or the UCI. If we really, truly want it, we ALL have to support it and stand on those windswept, muddy slopes.
  • 5 0
 Good write up Mike. As for the World Cup, surely it wouldn't be too hard to start the series in Australia followed by New Zealand in the months of February and March. A few weeks off and then head to Canada, North America, Brazil , Argentina , Chile. A few weeks off and then to Europe (Fort William, schladming, Val De Sol, Hafjell,Meribel,Andora). It's not hard UCI.
  • 4 0
 *it is hard when you(UCI) are more focused on yourself than the sport itself ala the Olympics ...
  • 11 2
 people hate new stuff because, I don't know.... fuck you.
  • 4 2
 Comment of the day. Thanks.
  • 5 0
 you can remove the (freewheeling) efficiency losses on a gearbox by running a freebody at the back, you can even make it only take 1 gear, so you can save weight and improve the bracing angle of the spokes if you used a specially designed hub.

Next issue is the gearbox design itself, its designed like a conventional car gearbox, which is fine in a car, but retarded on a bicycle, what you want is a CVT style gearbox, which, coincidentally is not very good in cars, but would be great on a bicycle, much lighter than current available options, has a potentially greater range, more compact and simpler.
  • 4 0
 I have 3 29er's, all 135 rear and all about 3 years old. I ride once a week here in Pisgah and alternate the bikes. So I figure I'll have nine years of riding before I start fretting about standards. OH yea, for you that do,by then the trails will be overun with knobbied tired hoverboards. Enjoy what you have.
  • 8 0
 still got the 26"er and the next upgrade is a car not these new standards
  • 4 0
 Still got a 26er and an Enduro Road bike is the next upgrade not an MTB.
  • 7 0
 I'm just fucking tired of flow trails and plus bikes. You should have just bought some new golf clubs gramps
  • 5 1
 Since this has turned into "26 aint dead" has anyone mentioned that maybe the 27.5 thing was because of all these people riding 6 year old bikes with no intention of buying a new one or defending their 8 year old one because "there's nothing wrong with it"? Bike companies don't make money when all you buy is new tubes and tires. Has the "new standard culture" we have now gotten out of hand? Probably. But I can see why we got here.
  • 2 0
 Totally agree....also someone said earlier that bike companies number #1 competition was the used bike market. How do you get ride of the competition, make new standards and make old bikes obsolete.
  • 4 0
 one of my only complaints (that I've made in countless bike reviews) with all of SRAM's current single-ring groups comes down to how the derailleur's upper pulley wheel constantly comes out of time with the chain

last 6 bikes with sram 1x setup:


not one mentions any pulley problems
  • 2 0
 @ZigaK13: There was one one review of an xc bike a few months ago with the chain routed downright wrong through the rear mech. Not sure whether it was SRAM though. The reviewer wasn't really happy with the shifting performance I do recall.
  • 4 1
 Well hot damn Mike...one of my fave articles from you is what I'm thinking (not saying I have anything against you at all, I don't)......Had me from the get-go, lost me a tad on what was seemingly rant-ish against gearboxes, then pulled me right back in 100% for the finale.
  • 3 0
 Sticky piston issue on new M9020s:

I've experienced a bizarre inconsistency in the rear (used both brakes from the box no need to cut the lines on my extra long frame) which was bearable, but now after only 10 rides my front brake has a sticky piston I can push iy back in with a tire lever but it will not come out on its own. It moves a little if I depress the free piston while pumping the lever, but it does not resolve the issue.

Anyone else had this problem?
  • 4 0
 Personally I'm not a fan of the Shimano brakes, because you can't really repair them in the event of a problem. I use Hope brakes because in the event of a problem, every little part is available to purchase. If you can manage to coax that piston out a bit, usually by holding down the opposite side and pumping the lever. You can grease it with silicone lube, it's the same type of stuff they use in plumbing. That hopefully will fix your issue.
  • 7 0
 Stick a freehub on the anikin, problem solved?
  • 5 0
 Shhh... keep it down. Of course it is. That's what Cavalerie recommends as well. Everyone knows that, Mike Levy knows as well for sure. But acknowledging that doesn't quite jive with his statement that gearboxes don't deliver. Instead get a cassette the size of a roadie chainring to compensate for your overly lightweight carbon rims and get a foot long derailleur cage to rake the trail. Why? Because these work with a freehub so it feels great coasting.
  • 9 6
 A bit mad, no? If you want answers (as this article is titled) your statement "I'm also sure someone from Shimano will tell me all about them, but I don't really care" comes off as from a spoiled kid best to be ignored. I'm pretty sure that if you contact Shimano and SRAM, introduce yourself as editor Mike Levy from a popular mountainbike website called Pinkbike and send them the respective questions, they'll likely respond. At least you're more likely to get the actual answers than if you just publish them on this website for us to give you our best guesses.

Then you have some questions directed as us, the readers. One of the main things when asking questions is to not answer them yourself right away. Ask a question, then wait for the answer. Given the nature of written conversations (on a website in this case) it may take a while. But it still stands and you can only respond to the answers once they're given. Worst is probably what you did, give some bullshit answers to your questions (as if they were ours) and then call them bullshit. You even mentioned somewhere we might call you an idiot for some opinion you have. It is sure rude to call someone an idiot as much as it is rude to suggest that your conversation partner might call you that. It is not the way to set a nice tone, is it?

So let's imagine you just didn't do that. You asked and allowed us to answer. There we go:

Why would we want an internal gearbox? One answer you already gave is to have the mass more central and out of harms way. So even though it might be more expensive, you at least expect it to last a while. The parts that do wear are easier to maintain and cheaper to replace than the way it goes on a conventional drivetrain. It is at least nice to have the option. Compare this to geared bikes for commuting. Those who want high efficiency go for the derailleur system and accept they'll have to do more maintenance and cope with more wear in return. As an alternative you can have the gears inside the rear hub. It is less efficient and heavier but in return maintenance and wear are low. It seems like much mountainbike gear is marketed for pedaling efficiency with the racer in mind. Sure many are happy that way so it is great like it is for them. But I for one rather waste more energy out on the trail no matter how wet and cold the conditions are rather than to spend quite a bit longer cleaning and lubing my vulnerable drivetrain after my ride when I'm just as wet and cold but am also cooling down. It is a choice I know but I think it goes for many along with me who'd actually spend more time riding and less time cleaning and lubing after the ride. So it is nice to have the option at least. So SRAM and Shimano are not stepping up apparently. Doesn't this mean that Hayes/Answer/Manitou has a chance to become just as big? They've got brakes, suspension, finishing kit (stem bar etc) and they've only been sitting on that B1 PeteSpeed patent that could allow them to deliver a drivetrain. I'm not sure how much less efficient it is going to be compared to a conventional drivetrain actually. It is a derailleur in a box just like they had on the Honda. And Honda was winning races so it can't have been too bad. You too know that the excess drag while coasting on that Cavalerie bike could easily be remedied with a simple freehub, which was on offer.

For me personally (to answer the other question) I've grown adverse to the way quality stuff degrades and has to be replaced. Think lithium batteries for mobile electronics and electric mobility which last only a few years at most. And people have come to accept that. And if the battery isn't user replaceable, the device is often even discarded completely. I hate to see that happen in cycling. If my frame breaks, I have to spend money on a new one. It becomes extra bitter if components in perfectly good shape don't fit the new frame, especially if I see no increase in performance. Oh it takes 27.5" wheels? Sure I could ride that but I don't have the wheels, tyres and forks for that now. Oh it takes 142x12mm? I see the advantages but I only have 135x12 and even though it is fiddly it worked good enough. Oh, and these forks for 27.5" wheels won't accept my 20mm axle? See, you'll be discarding stuff in otherwise great condition. Sure I could sell it, but I'm not a shop. I don't want to bother with that. I just want to ride what I have until it breaks down. At that point, no one wants it. The worst thing of these changing standards to me is that you'll be less likely to invest in a quality product that will last you a while. You bought a Chris King headset thinking that after that you'd be done buying headsets and you'd just transfer it from frame to frame. Same with their hubs. Nowadays it is wiser to just get cheap components that will only last for that frame as it may not fit your next. So manufacturers of cheap throwaway stuff thrive and those of quality stuff who also back it up suffer. I definitely don't see as many CK headsets on the trail as back in the day. So yeah through the eyes of the engineers, the racers and the reviewers in the (web)magazines the increased performance (stiffness, weight, efficiency) may justify a new standard. But many of us are none of these and just like to go out for a blast, knowing that if you break a 9sp short cage rear mech you can get a new one to keep you going, not that you're going to need a new shifter, chain and cassette as well.
  • 3 0
 I just had a wonderful weekend at the Snowshoe season opening to be called stupid by Mike Levy.

Apparently, no matter what I know, have done, do, and think, it is of no import whatsoever. He has proven with this article/op ed turd that PB is a mouth piece of the industry.
  • 3 0
 Great article!

..but I supremely disagree with the cost argument. Bikes have gotten out of hand expensive. How many people here can say their bike(s) cost more than their car? I can. Which one is more reliable? I bought a 2k moto. Do you know how much more engineering is present in that than a bike? I probably won't have to do more than change the oil for a few years. My brand new bike will need a new bottom bracket after this weekend.
  • 4 0
 I'm all for electronically adjusting my new gearbox brakes but can you PLEASE go get me another beer Mike. It's almost lunch time.
  • 4 2
 Bite point adjustment is down my list for good brakes. Power, modulation, reliability, even asthetics are more important to me and if shimano can tick those boxes happy boy.

Sram derailleurs work work pretty damn good despite the n+w pulleys in my experiences. No complaints.

I love my 5 speed fat beach rig. ( can of worms that one).

Yeah well derailleurs been around for over 100 years so dont think its going anywhere soon.

I only get one beer night with the boys every month so if we had more world cups id be divorced.
  • 2 0
 I think that the idea of having more races nearby could be possible. As you said, ther are many resorts at the Apls or even at Spanish/French Pyrenees, where you can organize a WC race and there is an hour or two of distance between them. This could mean an increasse of the team budget, but also as there are more races it will be more vissibility for the sport and the brands
  • 6 0
 Just bought a bike ....... And it's obselete!
  • 2 0
 "I guess what I don't understand is how someone can shit on a well thought out product, calling it either stupid or saying that it isn't needed"
The problem is not Boost, the problem is Why only 148?? why don't they made it at least the same that old DH hubs? Oh, I get it, so they can release other standard a couple of years from now...
  • 2 0
 "None of that actually matters though"

Nah why would it to an industry trying to milk every bit of money out of every customer. They sell you something that they say is the shit, but in two years it we be considered old rubish.
  • 2 0
 Great read as usual but most important Qs of all not asked, after the Great 27.5 Swindle by the ind, how much $$$ are top companies putting into E-bike R&D, what are their ACTUAL concepts for how they fit into their line ups and how far have they developed 100% E-bikes???? Polygraphs should be used when asking Qs....
  • 4 1
 You complain about Srams derailluers. Then you ask why people want a gear box. you keep mentioning simplicity and reliability. With a gear box you forget about all that derailluer crap. derailluers suck.
  • 3 1
 @mikelevy I would point out that Eddie Masters top 20 WC results aboard a gearbox bike fully self funded was impressive. Tim Eaton did very well down under as well. The $400 gear changer being 2-3" off the ground is nuts. I typically clank one hard a few times a month. I want to know how much more leverage is going to effect them with these longer arms on them....

Just waiting in Shimano to launch their 14spd system......
  • 2 0
 I have to replace multiple chains a year even though I clean my drive train after almost every ride. I've trashed entire drivetrains due to bad chainline after less than 1000s km. Even half way through a ride pedalling efficiency degrades as either dust or mud end up in my drive train. Cassettes worth hundreds of dollars being replaced in less than two years. Derailleures get smashed off. I can't see how an enclosed system is not something to aspire to. New XT stuff works pretty damn well when you buy it, but doesn't 2 years later, no matter how many $50 chains you go through, while Rohloff gearboxes ride on for 1000s of kms. The tech may not be there yet, but I can't accept that humanity has done all it can do when it comes to gearboxes. Derailleurs shifted like crap for decades and we put up with it and only in the last 5 or so years have they really come into their own.
  • 3 1
 Did Mike Levy just troll the entire biking community? What a jerk. With great power to write an article comes many comments. But really though... Wtf are you guys doing at shimano??? I use codes because the bite point is freaking awesome, I need to have consistency when I pull on my levers and codes provide just that.
  • 3 0
 Well this was contradictory... Saying that new standards and technology are to improve cycling but gearboxes are shit and won't ever improve? Sorry clearly pinkbike just needed an article.
  • 2 0
 The topics are valid and clearly the mtb industry is milking us the consumer right now. Anybody in doubt? Mr Levy,raising such a delicate item with the mtb community and then mixing in the north American toilet debate was risky. As a journo one has to provoke I would agree. This one was below your usual line imho
  • 2 0
 I call bullshit on the gearbox lies, what percentage of people have actually ridden a zerode, they are second to none, quiet and practically indestructable, my friend rode every day in the alps last year and did not have 1 mechanical. I broke 11 mechs, 25 gear cables and 3 chains. It was designed in a shed by one man in nz, if the big names put in their money and research, they could make something next level awesome, but they make too much money off selling 250 pound deralieurs and casettes...
  • 1 0
 You broke all that stuff, and your friend didn't. Line choice maybe? Just asking
  • 1 0
 @skilots: Fair point, we are near identical styles and weights, mechs on my demo 8 were literally being bent and shaken to pieces even without crashing involved... I kid you not dude, if one man in a garage in nz can make a dh bike (which has taken multiple national wins) Big money names can do the same with more research and testing... At the end of the day, probably 95% of riders punter around, or simply don't get the time on the bike, so maybe they don't have the issue I do. I guess 80-90 full days lapping a park is a lot, maybe bike components simply aren't built strong enough because everybody is fooled into thinking 2 or 3 pounds is a lot of weight for gears, and thats why they suck... Personally, I just want to be able to ride my bike without fixing it, or worrying about fixing it after every ride... If I hadn't bought a zerode, I would be riding a demo singlespeed 100%
  • 1 0
 @skilots: Ooops, he didn't break those components, because he didn't have them : )
  • 2 1
 I think the ironic part is saying how all these new standards are necessary to move forward, suck it up, we can't be so resistant to change, or current standards were once new and met with resistance...But gearbox is a separate issue.

Not necessary to move forward, change isn't necessary, resist it, what we have (which has been optimized for decades) is better than this current stage of new application of what is the staple in most every other transportation sector therefore it shouldn't be persued. Forget the suspension aspect of have huge rear range to try and compensate for in suspension movement. That's for the bike engineers to figure out a compromise for.

Are they as good as good as they need to be, no. Do they have potential to perform at an equal level from an efficiency stand point while being much less vulnerable, more reliable, have less maintenance, decrease suspension sprung weight, and allow constant chainline, yes. Just because it's not there yet doesn't mean it shouldn't be persued.
  • 1 0
 Oh, but will a long lasting, low maintenance design hurt new bike sales and therefore there component suppliers sales, yes. That'll be the ultimate reason that gearboxes won't be persued and taken to where they could.
  • 7 3
 Zerodes utilise gearboxes well !.....http://www.zerodebikes.com/page/enduro/
  • 12 11
 I hate the Downhill/Supercross comparison.
A Downhill race is 4 days long: track walk on Wednesday, practice Thursday, qualies Friday and finals on Saturday.
In Supercross, everything happens in one day. The athlete hops on the plane on Friday evening and is back home by Sunday afternoon.
So, until a world cup happens in just 1 or 2 days, saying "if they do it in Supercross, why not in downhill?" is a retarded way of thinking.
  • 9 2
 Please tell me you are joking. Have you raced motocross/Supercross or follow what they do through the week that builds up to the one day race.. To think they just turn up and race one day then go home is crazy. I come from a motocross background and now race downhill and by far to be any good at motocross you have to be 10times fitter and dedicated than to be good at downhill. Top elite downhillers will do maybe 10 to 12 runs max all weekend at a World Cup over the said 4 days. So average run is say 3 minutes give or take that a maximum of 36 minutes of bike time. Supercross they have 2 practice qualifying heats early in the day which are 10 minutes each. Then heat 1 8 laps so maybe 8 minutes. The ones who don't qualify in heat 1 go to a semi so another 6 laps. So 6 minutes. Then again if they don't qualify a last chance qualify. Then at the end they do a 20 lap main event. Supercross in a way is easier than motocross. Motocross they do practice then 2x 35 minutes. I've ranted on a bit but you need to be informed that motocross is far superior in fitness wise than DH. Supercross 17 rounds then motocross 12 rounds with 2 x 35 minute moto at each round. Hopefully this enlightened you into the difference of the 2 sports.
  • 3 3
 @Wheelersmtbholidays: What about the grueling training required for ping pong! Not to mention all the fatalities from taking it on the chin!!!!
  • 4 3
 @Wheelersmtbholidays: See you're comparing bike time in 2 completely different disciplines.
I've never heard of someone giving Usain Bolt shit because people run more during a marathon (I'm exaggerating but you get my point).
That being said, you are absolutely right that SX/MX is way more demanding physically, that was not the point I was trying to make.

My comment was pointing out the differences of the 2 sports in terms of logistics.
SX: 1 day (maybe 2 if you include press day) of racing in the middle of a major city, with an airport close by. Athlete leaves home on friday night, and is back sunday afternoon.
DH: 4 days of racing in a little shithole in the heart of the alps. No airports up there. So add to the 4 days the time it would take to go to the next venue, and the physical recovery time, and the athlete has 1 or 2 days of training left (assuming there are the required amenities there to train).
Now some smartass is going to say "but if everyone has that schedule, then the playing field stays level if none of them train between race weekends", but keep in mind that they hit the gym not only for performance purposes, but for injury prevention as well.
But once again, I agree, DH is for pussies compared to SX/MX.
  • 6 1
 Gwin on a "highly specialized" drivetrain...
I thought he moved to YT ? Smile
  • 5 0
 It was quite a Trek, hiding from wild Yetis and whatnot.
  • 1 0
 I may be a minority, but I feel like gearboxes aren't a viable option. For 95% of people pedaling a bike, efficiency is king, and current technology isn't even close to being light or efficient enough. I feel like it's at least 10+ years down the road.

I'm not saying I know it all, but I feel like a lot of people are touting gearboxes as the "it" solution and that we'll all be using them in a year or two are misinformed or disillusioned. But I could be wrong...
  • 1 0
 I think you're right. Efficiency is going to be the key point in eventually getting rid of the der. I'm a fan of gearboxes, but I have to admit have a little ways to go.


We need a bike company like Honda that will develop an idea that is based on what they feel the future is (Think NR500). Perhaps Zerode is doing just that for us but I really can't say as I don't know their reasoning or corporate culture.
  • 1 0
 To the people who keep saying "we just need to throw more money into gearbox development, and they'll be as good/better than a derailleur drivetrain": would you like your car to get 5-15% better mileage?

Yes? Me too.

But here's the thing: if the automotive industry is still kinda stuck at the current level of mechanical efficiency of a gearbox, what on earth makes you think that the mountain bike industry, which is more than one order of magnitude smaller than the automotive industry, is going to magically find the solution? The mechanical principles of a gearbox are governed by well-known fundamental laws of physics (go pick up a textbook in machine design for the basics, tribodynamics for the advanced stuff). They are not going to get magically sidestepped without colossal advances in materials science that would definitely win someone a Nobel Prize.

I too would love a gearbox that was as efficient as my current drive train. I've even sketched out some ideas for it. But at the end of the day, it's not going to happen with current technology, and bikes will definitely not be the first place you see the breakthroughs.
  • 1 0
 tsheep the efficiency is not far off a conventional system and is exaggerated by this article. There's a link above that shows the efficiency ratings and method used, using new units (more drag). It's not far off at all, esp when you consider the efficiency of a conventional setup is reduced when chain is worn or dirty and the chain line is out in different gears. Worth the review.
  • 1 0
 @atrokz: Which link are you talking about? The German charts one?
  • 1 0
 @tsheep: Yes sir. There was one a while back that also illustrated that the rohloff wasn't far off a conventional system when broken in. A chainguide, with a dirty chain is going to be only a few % points off.
  • 6 2
 So, if the Transition is the Best Am Platform currently on the market why was the Remedy 29 bike of the year? @mikelevy ?
  • 1 0
 My previous and current 140 front and 125 rear bikes:
Turner 5Spot, Cir 2005 with Fox Float RC 32 fork and RP23 shock
Santa Cruz 5010 v2 2016 with Pike and Float Evol shock.

I've had 3 longer travel bikes in the mean time and one 29er. But for my main trail bike I kept the Turner until something decidedly better came along. So the 1x11 better than x9 3x9- yes, in every way. New XT brakes vs Juicy 7, check, new is better. Suspension- holy crap it is better. Frame geometry and ride quality is so much better now there is nothing to say. Just better. The wheels, now boosted with through axels and 30mm inner width vs Stans Arch qr. Again, no comparison. And don't forget dropper post vs qr seat post clamp.

Bottom line, I loved mountain biking in 1988 on my Cannondale Rigid, 1996 on my Light Speed Hard Tail, 2005 on the Turner and now on the 5010. There was never a single part of the old bike than was better than the new bike. And each time a new bike comes along it is so much better than the last by widening margins. I can't wait for my next bike some time in the 2020s. Keep it coming!!!

157 Boosty Boost super mega does seem silly. But if the engineers want a couple millimeters then just give them a couple millimeters. The new bikes are so much fun.
  • 1 0
 Heres a thought on the gearbox thing.
Its now pretty much a given that all bikes are going to have a 1× setup from new. The after market insisted on expanded rear clusters so the expander cogs came about from niche manufacturers. The big boys jumped on with stock standard 40/42 cassettes. Niche manufacturers are giving us 50 rear expanders. Big boys jumping On with larger stock cassettes. Big boys upping rear to 12 cogs now alowing bigger gearing with smooth shifting. Its getting toward maxing out number of cogs and ratios surely!?? .......is the logical progression ( atleast from the manufacturers point of view of continuing new products to continue new sales ) going to a gearbox????
Just a thought. And all this progression through the 1× drive has happened pretty quick too!
  • 1 0
 My question, why is the pocket on the front of a waterproof jacket (where everyone puts their phone) not fully waterproof? I've started putting my phone in a baggie as it either gets wet from the rain coming through from the outside or by me sweating through from the inside! It's a Gore-Tex pro shell jacket so should be grand.
  • 1 0
 58 year old 26er diehard here. 18 year old Marin small rides on a rail. Just got a Giant anthem 27.5 . New bike does everything better. Got to try the new stuff to know it. Next 29er hardtail must be blazing fast wish I came to sooner!
  • 1 0
 Recently i met my old love a Knolly Endorphin 26 in a bikeshop with a discounted pricetag. without any hesitation i just picked it and stuffed it with my old parts. I never regret bought it in the middle of the wheelsizes, now the fork really beat up and develop a play in the bushing. Try to get a new fork but kind a torn between 26 specific fork or just a 27.5 fork and lose a 10mm travel. Either way arround i would still kick my 26' bike till it can no longer serve me. But please tire maker aou there make an updated version of tire-rim-spoke combos.
  • 1 0
 Looking at the over all spec on today's bikes I'd suggest the saying we are getting the most bike for the dollar we ever have is subjective at best. A lot more no name or private label parts like hubs are sneaking into the mix where better parts were a few years ago.

My 2014 felt had a mix of XT and Deore parts. The brakes, FDR, and cassette are deore rest is XT. The 2013 Lappierre I had ever so briefly for roughly the same price a year later had formula hubs, and the lowest price RF crank and sram chain and cassette. Could also be the different brands but the value was not there on the 2015 bike. A look at spec sheets suggests its continuing to go downhill, not in the good way on bikes around 4k CDN.

As for why gearboxes? Easy. Because they are better. If any major player had put as much into a gear box as has been put into derailleurs for the last 20 years the derailleurs would be a distant second at best. It won't happen over night but IG systems will replace derailleurs. Shimano already has the right configuration in its Alfine hub they just have to do as they just did with their e steps system and make an XT version of it.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy getten the natives fired up!
I love change! Especially in bikes. They are so rad and cool! When ever something new comes out it is fun to see how much funner(diffrent) it makes the ride!
The progress of it all good or bad shapes the future and the future is bright.
Look at the piece of hardware in your hand that you are reading and responding to this blog.
My iPhone is far more powerful and superior than my 4 year old Dell.
No gear boxes.. Electro magnetic propulsion drives.....
But for now...What Eva I ride it puts a fire one my hear and smile on my face!
  • 4 1
 Well somehow Zerode's have managed to make the whole gearbox thing work pretty damn well
  • 2 1
 The effect of a child's aspirin on Whitney Houston in the 90s, the stillborn antelope in the herd... Damn that Mr Levy can write! He's the Hemmingway of the Mountainbike world. Go write a book man.
  • 2 1
 GREAT ARTICLE MIKE ! Critical thought on Pinkbike! amazing. I was beginning to think that the trend towards "articles" (paid advertisements) would consume all Pinkbike content. Keep asking the hard questions Smile
  • 4 1
 Hey, professional vapers on the world championship level are serious athletes.
  • 2 0
 Best video on Shimano free stroke adjust .. it actually works, but most won't use the feature
  • 2 2
 @mikelevy, I am going to work on a carbon-geared box using Formula One technology and machinery and make sure to pass the massive cost along to the consumer so they will have something to complain about and never be able to afford.

Will you help me?
I think I can get it started with about $800k.

Just in case nobody caught it, that was indeed sarcasm.
  • 1 1
 engendered chain is not designed to run exposed to the elements and theoretically lasts forever if its properly oiled. more sprockets on the back is more unsprung / rotating weight. plus derailleurs are fragile. honda figured this years ago and won races moron.
  • 1 0
 the real question is why sealed cartridge bearings are not angular contact.
  • 2 2
 I see the point everyone has about new standards and sizes and all that but in honesty how often are you buying new hubs, forks, wheels, and all that for your bike? There is no hate from me (I get it, it's a pain to upgrade with multiple new standards) but if you drop thousands of dollars on a bike than it probably comes with decent kit, why freak out if your not even going to upgrade anyways?
  • 1 1
 Question Five all day! And question six: When are we going to see Downhill in the Olympics!?!?

Dealing with USAC and the UCI is so frustrating! They can never answer simple questions- yes, I know you're drug testing more cyclorcross racers than ever before and bleeding money on junior road racers in "fast track" programs but what are you doing to grow the sport I love?

Updates, if only there were updates!
  • 2 0
 I am wondering what the odds are that Mike put this article together with the intention of getting a high score on the number of comments received on PB.......
  • 1 1
 Mike Levy,

Here is the answer to why so many people on the new stuff: Innovation by elimination.

26" wheels were CHOSEN to be replaced by the industry, not the rider( see Taipei trade show 2012)

They were the replaced by 27.5/650B, we were told that the new wheels were faster, that was a lie( see "one question, with the founder of Knolly bikes).

The rest of micro-standards fell like dominos after that. Make a tire .3 bigger, and then you need to increase the axle by 6mm, still need to make more money, change the size of the shock to make it easier to manufacture, but won't really help the shock perform better. Once that happens, it's time to change the axle size AGAIN.

I am at a point now where I only buy parts from smaller companies that care about the rider, no matter what size wheel or how old their bike is. I am now in the process of getting rid of SRAM components from my bike.

And that is exactly what I did this year: I rebuilt my 26" bike and bought a box full of tires to ride it into the sunset.
  • 3 0
 I don't know how many tires you bought, but wouldn't the rubber deteriorate after a few years of storage?
  • 1 1
 Its an offence to incite a riot!!

Urging or instigating other persons to riot, but shall not be deemed to mean the mere oral or written (1) advocacy of ideas or (2) expression of belief, not involving advocacy of any act or acts of violence or assertion of the rightness of, or the right to commit, any such act or acts.” 18 USC

Mike Levy now serving 5 to 10!
  • 1 0
 Well the local stores here have mostly 26" tires and some 29", of course I'm on 27.5"

Maybe they quickly swap out the tire stock depending which customer is walking in the door just to F with us, lol ...
  • 1 0
 Well said. PB articles have seemed to go from something I lost interest in lately, to something I can really take something from. Keep it up guys. Ride hard
  • 1 2
 I had to hang up my custom 26-er because they don't sell decent tires anymore. Also the 1¼ headset was also shelved. And the BB is also outdated due to PF-30. I have a 2015 Salsa 29er which will probably be outdated soon. Can't wait!
  • 2 0
 I agree with the derailleur advances. I used to go through three a year. Now one lasts three years. Lovin' it!
  • 2 0
 Lucky you, I've went through about 8 in the last 2 years and only one failed due to being hit.
  • 4 2
 I moved back to Shimano from SRAM because of issue 2. So annoying and unnecessary.
  • 3 0
 Whole lot of wining going on around here.
  • 2 0
 It's cathartic.
  • 4 1
 mike levy, run of the mill hack no nothing reaction seeker
  • 2 0
 love the free PR with the Transition Patrol ---- yup, that's one bad ass bike!!! love it..
  • 1 2
 Buy a Black Market Roam instead. Bike's been around for 6 yrs with the same geometry that transition stole this year. Plus its adjustable between 26-29" wheels.
  • 2 1
 that question that's been haunting me since childhood - how much wood can a woodchuck chuck is a woodchuck could chuck wood?
  • 5 2
 I wonder how much did he get paid by transition
  • 3 0
 Paid in carbon
  • 2 1
 I know, Mike is such a jerk for having an opinion after riding a wide range of bikes! We don't want to know what bike reviewers think, we just want them to spew marketing!
  • 3 0
 I believe the answer you seek is 42
  • 1 2
 @mikelevy, Pretty much agree with you on this.. I like new standards. Evolution and change is exciting, it means our sport is progressing. I'm not riding a 2016 rig either, I just appreciate tech moving forwards and what'll mean for me when I do purchase a new bike.

Gear boxes.. Meh. Can't say I'm a fan but if they're folks out there who love a sealed transmission then good for them.

Brakes and pulleys.. Never really fazed me. The bite point is a good thought though.

Longer WC calendar.. Yes please. Pros on the road race an 8 month calendar +-(at a world tour level), 9 weeks of which include the Giro, Tour and Vuelta. It would be pretty awesome to see a few more races on the MTB side of things.

Would love to get some answers from the manufacturers regarding the pulley and bite issues?

Thanks for the great write up!
  • 1 1
 5 questions I want answered:

1.Who is Jeffsy?
2.Who the hell is Chester?
3.How to combat moist chamois?
4.When is Boost leaving us for something wider?
5.Why do you hate e-bikes you lift bound squirt of asparagus pee?
  • 1 0
 Not all companies are "discontinuing" 26" wheels and tires. Spank just released their Spike33 race wheels in 26" and 27.5". Just one example.
  • 1 0
 My trusty crystal ball tells me 26 will resurrect if PB get the 100th comment that sounded like: " Oh man, I just bought a new 26 ! "
  • 1 0
 Read the last response to comment #2... it even has 1 up vote already.
  • 3 1
 Elastic bands around the levers should do the trick shimano
  • 1 0
 How about air-bag body armour that's light weight and inflates before we hit a tree? Get well Clifford :0)
  • 2 0
 How would you employ it in time?
  • 2 0
 @Boardlife69: the same way they do this:

  • 3 0
 @redfire: not in a single shot do you see a hit to the ground - all pretend falls. Junk!!!!
  • 2 0
 @neimbc: and yet it passed all the european safety ratings and is available on the market.... Wink

personally, id have a load of PPE over this anyday.. was js to follow up "johnnygrosso"s comment.. im not an advocate of said tech either way Big Grin
  • 1 0
 @redfire: I know - I commented on it on Youtube - even their other promotional videos are all fake rolls.
  • 1 0
 Im on a hardtail, 27.5, 2 x 10 speed bike.. I'll just have popcorn for now.
  • 4 2
 Just because it's new doesn't mean that it's better.
  • 2 0
 The answer is more bb standards!
  • 2 0
 reading all you engineers was amazing.
  • 2 0
 Looks like pinkbike is hiring armchair engineers.
  • 1 0
 I'd be interested to read a review of the Zerode Taniwha, see if you might be swayed Mike!
  • 3 2
 Awesome writing, just what i thought...
  • 1 0
 I love pinkbike, always something to read Smile
  • 1 0
 I just hope they keep making DH 26er parts, I love my trek
  • 2 1
 shimano... right on spot!!
  • 1 0
 always a great read mike, give yaself a pat on the back for me
  • 1 0
 Yup. Still gettin older. Seems to happen all day every day.
  • 1 0
 When are the 29.5+ bikes coming out with mind telepathy shifting???!!!
  • 1 0
 Gearbox is the future. Nuff said.
  • 1 0
 Sturmey archer anyone??
  • 3 4
 Great article Mike!
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