The Pinkbike Podcast: What Could the MTB Industry Do Better?

Mar 8, 2023 at 8:52
by Mike Levy  
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Art by Taj Mihelich


Seb Stott's recent article calling out five things that the industry could do better, from suspension set-up guides to proportional sizing, got us thinking about other ways the bike business could improve. Today's show sees Brian, Kazimer, and I call out ourselves for not reviewing more mid-priced bikes, talk about how everything runs on credit, and we get into riding videos, compatibility, supply chain issues, and standards (of course). We also wonder if bikes really are too expensive, or if you're getting more bike for your bucks than ever before.

What is the mountain bike industry doing a good job of? And how could the industry improve?





THE PINKBIKE PODCAST // EPISODE 171 - WHAT COULD THE MTB INDUSTRY DO BETTER?
March 8th, 2022

Prices, compatibility, supply chains, standards, riding videos, and more.


Featuring a rotating cast of the editorial team and other guests, the Pinkbike podcast is a weekly update on all the latest stories from around the world of mountain biking, as well as some frank discussion about tech, racing, and everything in between.

Subscribe to the podcast via your preferred service (Apple, Spotify, RSS, LibSyn, etc.), or visit the Pinkbike Podcast tag page for the complete list of episodes.



Podcast presented by Intense Cycles
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Author Info:
mikelevy avatar

Member since Oct 18, 2005
2,032 articles

166 Comments
  • 71 2
 "what could the industry do better"... presented by intense cycles, oh the irony
  • 2 0
 Had one of the worst experiences dealing the Intense and their "warranty" last year. Part of the blame fell on the bike shop, but I will never buy another Intense...
  • 67 1
 Is it too much to ask for the manufacturer's warranty to be universally transferrable?

Just because the bike has been sold shouldn't render it invalid.
  • 16 0
 I like this.
  • 7 0
 Like car companies
  • 5 0
 Dammit, I had this one on a list in my head and completely forgot to mention it.
  • 1 0
 @jdendy: and houses
  • 2 0
 Crash replacement for the 2nd owner at a minimum.
  • 36 4
 In 1993, it cost me $1000 to get a really nice full rigid MTB. You can easily get a hardtail for under $2000 that's better than that old $1000 bike. That's a lot less than everything else has gone up in that time, so I don't think it's nuts.

If you think you require all the latest and greatest to "enjoy" mountain biking, then you're spoiled.
  • 14 1
 I would love if trek/specialized/etc would make a ss rigid mtb for 1000 bucks.
  • 4 0
 @bulletbassman: Spesh made a rigid Crave/Carve SS not too long ago. Kona has made the Unit forever, used to be ~$1k but sigh, the times.
  • 17 0
 Agreed - I think what people miss a bit is a $1k bike in 1993 is what, XT components (at least higher end) while a $2k bike today (equiv cost including inflation) has much "lower" end components, people look at that and complain, but low end components today are for the most part are functionally superior to higher end components back then.

I'd 10/10 times take a $2k bike today than even a $3k bike from 1993.
  • 9 1
 @Explodo nailed it. I worked at a shop in that era, a 'higher' end Diamond back APEX, I think was about $800 back then-roughly $1500 in todays money. So, you look at that price point of bike today, you are getting a far superior bike than that Apex. A marin bobcat for under a grand, coop bikes under a grand, trek roscoes, etc etc etc are all bikes you can get fun factor, exercise, and enjoy being introduced to MTB
  • 3 0
 @bulletbassman: HellSS YeSS! Bring back the Superfly SS
  • 9 0
 $1000 in January '93 has the buying power of $2,097.97 in January '23, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics CPI Inflation calculator (www.bls.gov/data/inflation_calculator.htm). Right now, Trek has a sale on a Roscoe 7 for $1649, which is a pretty capable trail bike IMO, especially when compared to bikes from the early '90s. So I agree that while prices have gone up, staying in the low to mid range of bikes will get you a much better value and more capable bike then you could get in the last 30 years.
  • 2 1
 @cyclecuse: SS still has 98% of the parts a normal bike has, why would it sell for half price?
  • 1 0
 I got a great deal from a shop on a new hardtail from a with a decent trail build because the frame had a tiny dent in the top tube.

I found a Rootdown frame and moved the parts over. All in for $2300 and I don’t see anyone having more fun than me on the trails.
  • 1 0
 I fully agree. It was mentioned in the podcast, but the TOP of the line bikes are WAY more expensive than the top of the line bikes ever have, even taking into account inflation. But you are getting WAY more bike for that dollar too. An equivalent inflation adjust dollar gets you more bike today than before.
  • 4 0
 So I just went and looked and I bought a 2013 Trance X 29er back in the day. If I had paid full price it would have been $4,250.

Alu frame, XT 2x, alu narrow wheels, external dropper, and one of the worst "modern" forks.

I just bought a Capra Core 4 AXS. Same exact price: Carbon frame, Factory 38/X2, Code RSC, X01 AXS, etc.

Yes bikes have gotten more expensive, but I have to agree that it seems to be mostly the top end. And the bikes now are way more capable.

If you adjusted the Trance X for inflation it would be much more expensive than the Capra.
  • 1 0
 @stikmanglaspell:
Absolutely!
Old school geo totally turned me off to Mtn biking for over a decade.
  • 1 4
 @RadBartTaylor: So. You should compare the xt version with the xt verisimilitude for then. My bike form 7 years ago was £4k. The current version with the same spec, so xt and factory suspension is now £6,600 so 65% more. If it went up by just inflation it should cost £4,900 according to the Bank of England
  • 7 0
 @chrismac70: I think they’re making the point that a current Deore drivetrain and brakes are as good or better than XT from 7 years ago. Even though it looks like “ugh, Deore on a $4000 bike? I got XT for that 7 years ago!”, the new Deore bike is better.

If you’re mad that you can’t afford a top of the line bike any more, that’s a different question.
  • 1 1
 @sfarnum: I’d argue the deore derailleur and brakes are better than the xts currently.
  • 1 0
 @bulletbassman: Blasphemy!
  • 35 6
 Stop the micro standard madness, stop trying to
Make wheel sizes obsolete, and finally stop comparing e-bikes with mountain bikes. They’re not the same, they have a place, but they’re fundamentally different.
  • 25 41
flag Explodo (Mar 8, 2023 at 9:56) (Below Threshold)
 Are they fundamentally different? They just weigh more and help you up hills. I'd say they're really damned similar.
  • 14 12
 @Explodo: yes. One is a motorcycle and one is a bicycle
  • 7 4
 @Dillonmennie: A throttle-less motorcycle would be a hard sell to moto riders. Good luck with that comparison.
  • 33 3
 The ebike motor manufacturers need better servicing options. The motors are becoming throw away parts. This is certified BS.
  • 24 2
 :Carbonfootprint has left the chat

:AcceleratedTrailDeg has entered the chat
  • 5 1
 Agreed. I had it in my notes but don't know if I mentioned it—it'd be nice to see more standardization in eMTB motor components.
  • 4 0
 @brianpark: I totally get it if the manufacturers don’t want the average Joe cracking open their motors and poking around complex electronics, but I should at least be able to send it or bring it somewhere to have somebody who’s been trained properly, replace a cracked spindle or worn bearings. Repair>Replace, if possible.
  • 5 0
 @PHX77: ehhhh I won't make industry friends with this but IMO if manufacturers want eMTBs to be treated as bicycles from regulatory and access standpoints, then they should make commitments to user service and repair.
  • 3 0
 @brianpark: As well, I would like to see motor mounts be standardized, so you're not locked into one motor. A lot would have to change to make this happen...but damn that would be nice! As well, standard connections for accessories like lights and computers so everything can run off of one battery.
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: I wouldn’t worry at all about not making industry friends especially if you are talking about bicycles
  • 26 1
 +1000000 percent for sag indicators built in.
  • 1 0
 Agreed. Anyone know when RockShox patent protection period ends?
  • 4 0
 @jason3559: Levy made a great point about it being a limiting factor on forks. I swapped out my 150mm air shaft assembly for 160 on my Fox 36. The sag indicators wouldn’t be much help after. All for it on shocks though!
  • 4 0
 @tomfoolerybackground: RS usually has different tiered indicators for a different travel. Has a label of travel mm on each gauge
  • 21 0
 I understand why brands don’t. But I wish brands and bike shops would put more effort into teaching prospective purchasers of equipment trail etiquette and spent a lot more on getting trails built, maintained, etc. I feel often the industry takes the money and runs and let’s the existing user base shoulder the responsibility of making the trails that support their industry happen. It’s good that some brands are doing more than the past. And some brands like transition have it at the core of their business. But overwhelmingly many brands and users alike aren’t investing remotely enough except to have the latest and greatest gear.
  • 34 0
 Trail etiquette would be a great podcast topic, added to the list.
  • 4 0
 I'm not sure if trail etiquettes are up to brands and shops to teach. Trail associations put out signs and websites to let trail users know about trail conditions, etiquettes, warnings, trail building events, etc. There are social media websites where people talk about these things. So, it's not something that totally brand new. Most people in and out of the biking circles or within the communities know all this stuff. Meetup groups will also specify etiquettes. It's also common courtesy to be kind to one another and don't wreck the trails for everyone. But some are just idiots who think they're more entitled than others to do whatever they want, no matter what. I think it just comes down to people you ride with or associate with. I definitely like to thank most of my biking friends and trail associations for teaching me those etiquettes and keeping the trails in good condition. In terms of funding, I do believe local shops do provide that to different trail associations. It only makes sense since without great trails, these shops won't be in business very long.
  • 8 0
 @CSharp: Years ago, the MTB publications used to push trail etiquette. PB, as a modern equivalent, should do so as well.
  • 1 0
 @CSharp: that assumes everywhere has established trail organizations maintaining the trails
  • 1 0
 With respect to riding etiquette, as an MTB'r for 37 years my "ought" is that etiquette ought to cut both ways. For new riders and seasoned riders. The interaction of being the faster or slower rider - either up or down - happens to all riders.

No doubt there has always been etiquette bias, but it's got strong legs at the moment - looking forward to that Podcast.
  • 19 2
 People think bikes are too expensive because marketing has done a great job making everybody think they need the carbon fiber, ultimate suspension, XT or X01 components, "expert" level bike.
  • 3 0
 1000% agreed. I’ve had a lot of mountain bikes—everything from full carbon Santa Cruz to xt/kashima yetis, to $900 hard tails. Of all the bike my favorite was a mid-level yt jeffsy alloy that I got on sale for $2500. It did everything just as good as the Carbon Santa Cruz that I have now which was literally twice as expensive as that YT.
  • 3 0
 Commençal Supreme frame costs almost half the price only 2 years ago
  • 1 0
 @norfiril: Yes, so have a lot of things. Inflation is huge right now and I don't see it slowing down for a while.
  • 2 0
 I don't think it's just marketing, but also the change of each brand's models market segment. For someone like me who has been riding since the 90's, getting a new MTB every year with at least an XT groupset was just the norm. Back then there was a big gap in quality between high end stuff (i.e. M950) and entry level (i.e. STX/Alivio), suspension/forks, finishing kit, etc, and a new refresh every year was just the norm. Today, I could be totally happy riding a Deore bike for a few years before getting something else because durability and performance have caught up.
  • 20 1
 Item 6: A moratorium on the arbitrary deletion of vowels
  • 4 1
 Mpsbl
  • 14 2
 In 2009 my SX Trail was about $4800, in 2022 my Transition Spire was $4800. Although the SX is awesome, that Spire is way better in every way. Bikes are better for the same or less money now.
  • 1 0
 My 2016 Orange was £4k. It’s now £6600 for the same spec. If it went up by inflation it would be £4900
  • 8 0
 1) Obligate bicycle companies to make parts available for their bikes for up to ten years, the same as it is by law for automobile and motorcycle manufacturers in some countries. Having to chuck a frame because you can't get some $5 custom bushing anymore is wrong.

2) Standardize motor mounts. That way if and when one company fails or just fails to supply parts when needed riders can move over to another. This will also fall under see 1) above. I've gone on about this before but I think the Husqvarna Extreme Cross e-bikes with their universal adapter plates are the most future-proofed frame out there. I'm not as sure if the newer Mountain Cross ones also have the same feature still.
  • 3 0
 Huge fan of your #1 comment here. #2 as well but e-bikes are my area of expertise.

As a general example, FOX goes as far as to remove public facing service manuals/ won't supply them when asked, discontinues service seal kits for their suspension after 5 years-ish, and discontinues the proprietary tools to conduct service/ won't provide the specs to have them machined. Their solution is to have some availability of their current offerings with retro active compatibility. It's not great, but not terrible.

Brands such as Santa Cruz and Rocky Mountain currently have a decent selection of publicly available product information and proprietary replacement parts (pivot bolts & bushings, hangers, etc) dating back over two decades. The RM element platform has pivot bolt/ bushing support back to 1997. Thats not bad in my humble opinion.
  • 3 0
 @progressioncycles: fox has 7 years worth of service manuals on their site, which is silly because they all come apart the same way and use the same torque values. Every 34 uses the same lower service kit regardless of age. unless you have some strange desire to rebuild a talas damper or something you can get anything you need to rebuild any fox fork.
  • 2 0
 @progressioncycles: I agree that Rocky is one of the better examples of offering small parts and I have been grateful to get some from them to keep old rides running. I'd also like to see some ability to get frame parts like chainstays and swingarms too.

With FOX I've had a different experience. I can put in the serial number for 8 year old products and get information albeit the parts are harder to come by. I'm impressed by the modularity and innovation of some of the aftermarket suspension service shops that can retrofit a lot of older FOX stuff - although the cost can start to approach replacement prices.
  • 1 0
 I thought this was actually law in the EU for some reason I know it is in automotive can’t remember if it’s 7 or 10 years parts availability , there’s also the right to repair legislation which I think was 2022 means spares would have to be available somehow somewhere or they’re in breach of that , I suppose the only way these things happen is when someone with the money takes them to task over it not very likely for a bike costing 2-3k when it’s broken
  • 11 1
 bring back Vail, Mount Snow, Mammoth, Snow Summit (among some others) to the National / World Cup. Tired of West Virginia
  • 16 9
 We are an environmental nightmare in terms of carbon footprint, toxic coatings on fabrics, horrible manufacturing partners, etc etc etc Top down environmental regulation in 100% necessary
  • 4 4
 Thanks Karl.
  • 4 0
 I agree, but while we’re working toward regulatory action, let’s vote with our wallets, buying local and buying metal.
  • 4 0
 Ugh, I’m annoyed this wasn’t on my list.
  • 4 4
 @brianpark: don’t you think pinkbike is a massive contributor to the problem
  • 5 2
 @Dillonmennie: No, we are not.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: As long as you’re recycling all those Monster cans…
  • 1 0
 @Adamrideshisbike: Karl was correct in his critique of capitalism my friend.
  • 1 0
 @kokofosho: Yeah, his theories have led to great things.
  • 1 0
 @kokofosho: Karl Benz?
  • 5 0
 What is cool of the MTB industry is you can buy a good quality bike from either a large global company, a small local manufacturer and everything in between. There are not many industries where this is possible. I think that the passion of the entrepreneur and access to the same components creates this possibility.
  • 1 0
 Agreed!
  • 4 0
 It's probably the greatest time ever to be into MTB. Typically in a cyclical industry there will be a massive decline in the amount of brands over the next 4 years and technology will go stagnant. Hopefully not. But we could see 70% of the existing brands vanish. Look back at any boom time vs bust.
  • 3 0
 Currently going through a frustration. Dropped bike off for winter service and was told about 2 weeks. Shock had to be sent off to Fox, so I'm thinking, at worst 3 weeks. It's now been 7 weeks, with the only communication coming from me contacting the bike shop. It's so frustrating that unless you're a bro, nobody seems to want to at the very least, contact me with an update, "hey there. Timing is a bit behind, but here's our estimated timeframe" I see this as mainly a Fox problem, but also the shop. I get that it's bikes, and nobody is waiting at the other end for a new kidney, but come on, don't tell me 2 weeks, and then when I call after a month, say to me, "it is what it is". This could be better bike people.
  • 1 0
 did they say why the shock had to go back? unless its a warranty thing i don't see why it would need to go out of the shop.
  • 1 0
 @Jheitt142: I think a lot of shops don't service suspension, they take it off and ship it out. Personally I've invested in the tools to do it myself so I don't have this issue!
  • 1 0
 @ChiefSilverback: agreed with what you said, and to add that I've only ever been to one shop that has the proper nitrogen setup for fox shocks. Full rebuilds always need to be sent away in our shop.
  • 1 0
 @Jheitt142: shock was cavitating badly and I was aware of it. I wanted it dealt with before March, dropped it off Jan. 31, and here on Mar.9, am still waiting, with nobody seeming to make an effort to get me an indication of when I’ll get it back. Makes me feel uneasy, like nobody when I’ll be able to ride.
  • 5 2
 Not really a criticism but on the topic of bad suspension set up details from manufacturers and flight attendant, I'd like to see telemetry data built into literally every fork and shock with a quality app to provide visualizations of the data (with or without recommendations). This would be significantly more valuable to me than flight attendant, especially if the manufacturer of the frame could produce ideal suspension "profiles". Within a few rides you could have a world class suspension set up with zero barrier to entry.
  • 4 1
 Cycling use to be a sport where the lower class people could participate with the upper class. Now anyone not making a living wage is priced out of the sport nevermind life in general. From what I understand there are more and more who do not receive a living wage and will be priced out of the sport.
  • 1 0
 It's never going to compete with football or running, but one can buy a very capable used bike for £1000-1500 that could literally win races under the right rider.
Geometry has stabised since 2016 and anyone can afford one good set of tyres a year.
Low cost riding can be done, to a point at least.
  • 1 0
 @jaame: the don't make many cheap bikes in adult size; I'm 194 cm in bare feet
  • 3 0
 I've been using centerlock for many years and have never had any 'rock back and forth' as Levy keeps claiming. Granted I'm on higher-end stuff, so is this on the lower cost parts? Maybe goa lil past the 40nm spec as I do?
I'm no die-hard CL guy, but I've never had any issues over many wheelsets. It's a perfectly good option, and the carriers on the XTR/XT rotors make for a stiff and stable rotor.
  • 3 0
 @brianpark I’d really be curious to know, when these brands carry over the geo between sizes, which size would they consider to be the “best?” Are bike companies designing their best geometry in a medium or large, etc? Which side gets priority?
  • 3 0
 Well back when everyone thought that shorter CS = better in all circumstances, the "best" geometry was on the largest bike. But now it seems to me that most bikes are "optimized" for medium or large, and then the other sizes are afterthoughts. I'll also give props to brands that have smaller wheel sizes on smaller sizes here.
  • 9 2
 more steel bikes
  • 12 10
 1. Not use AutoPlay
2. Announce the advent winners
3. Don't quiet quit but talking about F1 in the podcasts
4. Stop incremental "improvements" with substantial price deterioration
5. Stop over tiering product lines with marginal cost/performance differences
  • 2 0
 A couple of comments here:

1. Regarding helmets, I get wanting to wear the helmet of your choice, but that decision should be based on the terrain you’re riding. I have noticed that GMBN is terrible for wearing the helmet/gear that matches the bike, regardless of terrain. XC bike on a World Cup DH track, Lycra and an XC helmet, DH bike on the same trail, full face, goggles, long sleeves/pants etc…

2. On riding videos, anything that just shows riding is great. Neko’s ‘Renegades of Funk’ ride in one of his Frameworks episodes is a video I could watch again and again. And even though i just criticised them for helmet/gear choices, GMBN’s video when it’s just the presenters out for a ride with no stupid challenge or ‘test’, those are the best and make me want to get on my bike.
  • 2 0
 Gotta admit, the quality of parts these days is pretty awesome. Stuff has come a long way. What they still could do better? Provide warranty properly. Stop making riders stress about whether stuff will be covered every single time. You see stuff break that legitimately shouldn't and the owner still has to wonder "oh gee I wonder if that will be warrantied or if they'll claim I abused it and deny warranty"
  • 2 0
 Better post sales education such as chain (lubing and measuring), bolt checks and the importance of scheduled maintenance. Perhaps a two year maintenance package can be included in the bike price with discounted rate if you take it back to that shop? Also, how about helping out new riders and bundling care packages such as lube, allen keys and a chain checker? Lastly, can it be made law that all childrens MTBs (not department store ones), ship with a rigid fork, larger volume tyres and hydraulic brakes?
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: Question for next episode: A high-end rear shock and simple suspension design (say like a linkage driven single pivot); or more simple shock and fancy suspension design (delta, vpp, dw, etc etc).

In short, how much should I pay attention to what linkage is on my next bike, when I can upgrade the shock?
  • 2 0
 Something the bike press industry could do better: every bike review should include a full disassembly and re-assembly so people can get an understanding of serviceability. “Reviews” are just a lot of wishy-washy “ride impressions” which are completely subjective.

Something the bike manufacturing industry could do better: 1) manufacturing closer to end user, 2) less trail skidding in marketing videos, 3) frame parts more easily purchased online (pivots, etc.)
  • 2 0
 Less wasted packaging. As a 12 year veteran of the bike shop I have seen SO MUCH waste in the form of protective plastic bags, foam and cardboard that gets thrown away just so your bike parts can be pristine and clean for 5 minutes before you ride them and scratch them anyway. The bikes are already amazing, lets focus on a smaller footprint for our planet!
  • 5 2
 The industry needs to acknowledge that not every single bike needs to be designed specifically for the Pacific Northwest flow trails.
  • 15 1
 Have you ridden out here? There's a misconception that regularly shows up in the comments that somehow everything in the PNW is either crazy steep or gnarly (or full of flow trails by your account), and that if a bike was designed for the PNW it won't be as good on the East Coast, etc..., which simply isn't true.

The thing is, there's a huge variety of terrain. From my back door I can ride rolling cross-country trails, trails with techy slow speed singletrack climbs, and yes, all sorts of steep, rowdy descents as well.

Does someone in Iowa need a bike with a 63-degree head angle and 180mm of travel? Probably not, but that's why companies have different models in their lineup for different uses.
  • 1 0
 @matyk @mikekazimer: Agree with you both. I would love to see regional sales data. I imagine the reason they “design for the PNW” is because sales are very strong in the region, likely more so than any other North American market, and they’re playing to the crowd. And to Mr. Kazimer’s point, the PNW moniker can double as marketing speak for bikes built for the gnar.
  • 2 0
 I picked up a Ripmo AF, it's fantastic for the money. I picked up a Ripley AF, again it's fantastic for the money and I asked myself why I had spent so much on carbon bikes in the past.
  • 1 0
 I was sick and bored about a year ago and started to check what a high end bike would cost if I bought the frame and parts and built it up myself.
I was expecting the price to be way over the retail price of the complete bike but it turned out to be around 1000 dollars cheaper?
So I think that the price on high end bikes is not based on what they cost to manufacter but rather what people are willing to pay.

Did the same thing on a mid priced bike but it turned out to be way more expensive to buy as a framset and parts.
  • 1 0
 Lots of intereresting points, but I want to comment on Seb's observation on suspension setup. I've been riding an MTB for decades, but even with that experience, getting suspension dialed has always been a challenge for me. Often the simple factory recomendations seem about as useful as the tire pressure recomendations, and while some brands do a better job than others, I think the local shops are often dropping the ball here, especially with new riders. They can talk with the rider and have a better sense of where the bike will be ridden. I have had numerous friends show up on their new bike and finish as rough a trail as they are likely to ride usning about a quarter of thier travel with 40 psi in their tires. If local shops want to stay relevant, take 30 minutes with a new rider getting the bike fit and tuned to at least some semblance of proper fit and settings, or don't wonder when people just order thier bike online.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy Just a thought.
You talked about affordable bike reviews. let's chat about entry level reviews? I got into the sport on a base rockhopper that I immediately took to a downhill trail and my right leg has never been the same, hah!

But seriously, so many times we get messaged by friends saying "hey, what should I buy just to get the hang of this MTB thing". At that price point, you're don't have much. But, is it the Trek, GT, Giant, Specialized, Norco, etc. What's the best bang for buck to get someone out on a trail with you before they make the move to that mid-tier range or fathoming why you'd spend the money on a 2k - 3k bike?

We look down on those bikes all the time, but that rock hopper got me to justify a Roscoe, then that roscoe got me to justify my IBIS and i'm in the best shape of my life at 41 years old.
  • 1 0
 So much though provoking content this week. And welcome back from F1 Levy, you seem refreshed.
- Fabrication is what the industry does well. Really well. What else do you own in sporting goods that is as well made as a new trail bike?
- The industry is terrible at technical advancements. The AXS derailleur and chain driven cassette are space age buggy whips. Non-integrated and round dropper posts? Seriously?
- Standards... Wasn't the universal hanger a "shot heard round the world?"
And Brian, I get what you're trying to say about "walled gardens" and interest payments, but these ideas reveal a limited understanding of engineering design and economics. Hmmmm...
  • 1 0
 well... a new honda or yamaha 450cc motocross bike is definitely better fabricated than any mtb you can buy. mtb prices are a complete joke for what crap quality you get.
  • 1 0
 I still think it’s good that local shops and group rides are a thing. I grew up working at a shop and am glad that they’re still a thing today. Now DTC brands and big companies buying up more market share, I think the local shops giving great advice and getting people riding is something that the industry does well and also should help maintain!
  • 4 0
 Wait, this isn't a formula 1 podcast now?
  • 4 0
 New podcast graphic? Nice, Taj!
  • 5 0
 I'd love to see a slightly different one each week based on the topic, spot the difference kinda thing.
  • 5 0
 Price point
  • 5 5
 Manufacture in your country of origin. If you're a US based company, then build your bikes in the US... if you're a Canadian company... if you're an Italian company. Stop feeding the cheap labor globalism import experiment.

Its also hard to fathom how the same carbon frame bike can range from $5000-$12000 (Comp to S-works for example). Are the "better" components really that much more expensive to develop and produce? The price range on the same bike shouldn't double!
  • 4 1
 I hope you are enjoying the last bike you'll ever own then.
  • 2 1
 this would double the price at a minimum of every bike. and yes component development costs that much, but it does trickle down pretty quick
  • 3 0
 @Jheitt142: WR1 isn’t double, Guerrilla Gravity isn’t double, Allied isn’t double.
  • 2 2
 The biggest reason frames are made in Taiwan and China is because that’s also where the components are made. It’s an incredibly short supply line to get complete bikes built. They then take a slow, but economically and environmentally inexpensive (compared to land and air alternatives) boat to destinations around the world.

So, for what you are proposing to really work, you would need component factories in each country to supply that country.
  • 1 1
 @ShopMechanic: SRAM is a US based company… they should also manufacture in the US.
  • 1 0
 Fortunately tech being stagnant will Be a good thing for mtb
  • 1 0
 1) "Stop feeding the cheap labor globalism import experiment."

Experiment? How long does something go on before it's no longer an "experiment"? (Disclaimer: I'm not an economist or CEO of a large corporation so my knowledge of how to keep costs low and profits high is lacking.)

2) I won't necessarily speak for Specialized, but with some manufacturers, within a given range of bikes in the same family, the frame dimensions and geo are the same but the type/quality of carbon changes. So, it may be fair to say you consider the bike overpriced, maybe even double, but it's not just because of upper-tier component choices. (Disclaimer: this is allegedly happening as I'm not an industry insider or engineer at Specialized or BMC or the like. I am subject to their promotional literature.)
  • 3 0
 Using your example of Specialized, I think S-Works uses different, much more expensive carbon for the frame, and then they have all the high end components. Top tier AXS which easily costs $2000 more than the SX/NX/Deore on the entry level model, carbon rims, high end hubs, AXS dropper etc...
  • 1 1
 @iammarkstewart: On a scale this big... an economic experiment could last many decades before enough data and enough situations occur (i.e. Covid, child and slave labor, energy/transport, profiteering) to realize a mistake has been made.

Meh... the multiple (usually 2) carbon layups manufacturers offer are just another way to charge more... its hardly different, and hardly more expensive to manufacture... you could argue having 2 processes is more expensive than a single, same with the SX vs XX1, Rythem vs Factory, etc. Why make the low end stuff? Do we need an SX shifter? Does the SX shifter really cost less to produce than a GX? Because it provides a low bar to exceed and charge more to do so.
  • 1 0
 @ChiefSilverback: The only difference is the linkage... carbon vs AL. Thats the whole point of my thought... Why is AXS $2000 more than entry level? It's too large of a gap for the same basic function.
  • 1 0
 @Baller7756: actually, they do. Zipp wheels are made in Indianapolis. Up until AXS came out, Quarq power meters were made in Spearfish, South Dakota. Not sure if this matters to you or not, but SRAM chains are all made (every price point) in Coimbra, Portugal.

Just curious, what should SRAM do about their chain manufacturing? Should it be in the US, or should each country independently, but also collectively, disallow international businesses to exist? Or, should each country make all of their bike parts in their country, for their country?
  • 1 0
 Create more standards. From superboost, high pivot, press fit we need more of it. Personally I hate when I have a ton of choices and can upgrade, I want a reason I have to replace.
  • 3 0
 HAVE MORE DEMO DAYS!!!!!! Get people on your bikes on the trails they normally ride...
  • 1 0
 Good suspension with mid tier components on mid tier bikes

If I want fox elite, I might not want axs xo components, I’d be happy with gx/slx.

I think @privateerbikes nailed this
  • 1 0
 The issue is the 20-30% super fast price increase because of Covid.

$5000 for a 2023 Yeti SB160 frame is crazy madness, right up there with the S-Works line. The industry will find out the hard way.
  • 1 0
 I’m 10 min in and so far it’s only been praises for the mtb industry yet the podcast title is “what could the mtb industry do better”. I don’t think I’ll be able to handle another 50 min of this…bs
  • 3 0
 Bicycles? Stick to what you know, Formula 1!
  • 2 0
 @brianpark is nailing the use of the word "endemic" in this pod lately...good stuff.
  • 2 3
 pricing.. they could do better pricing. This ferrari version is slowly pushing me away from wanting new bikes or build new bikes starting from a frame. my 2021-22 bike build(frame and parts) costed me double than what my 2016-17 bike costed.. and equally, both had top of the line susp, brakes and wheels(+ 300 usd cockpit(stem and bars)); honestly, it is getting ridiculous.
  • 7 0
 This is a strange comment... you're sitting here saying how upset you are that your 2021 bike cost double, but you chose to pay that. The bike company is sitting there saying, "Well eugenux is clearly okay with our prices, he bought it." Vote with your wallet.
  • 1 0
 @bishopsmike: well, there is a difference. I used to have 3-4 bikes at the same time.. now I only have one so, I do "vote" with my wallet.
  • 2 0
 Would love to see a review of the WR1 Arrival 170. Sounds like it’s a very different beast than the 152.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy, we watch Pinkbike videos when we want to see trail bike riding and good music and friends goofing off! Keep the content coming!
  • 1 0
 @brianpark some light weekend reading. The Theory of Money and Credit by Ludwig von Mises. Here is a free PDF. mises.org/library/theory-money-and-credit
  • 3 0
 Hugo Stanction has entered chat. Brilliant @brianpark
  • 1 0
 to be completely honest...i'm still confused as to why the bike industry hasn't made the switch to copper frames.
  • 1 0
 Nobody needs a full face intill it’s your cheek and jaw bone “ shoveling gravel” into your mouth.lol
  • 2 0
 Oh Lordy. A Qrank reference. What’s next, scary fast?
  • 1 0
 I had those gloves!
  • 2 0
 Communication, education, and transparency.
  • 2 0
 Yes, to more Lando Steazy!!
  • 2 0
 Maybe post the Advent Calendar winners?
  • 1 0
 Truthfully I was most offended being called a ‘spreadsheet person’. Savage.
  • 2 0
 Sorry.
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: You were bang on - enthusiast driven leadership is a big part of why the industry is rad. I laughed out loud when I heard spreadsheet people. No actual offense taken.

I work at a construction company that purposefully recruits ‘builders’ rather than spreadsheet people. But we all wind up as at least part time spreadsheet people in the end.
  • 3 0
 No F1? I'm out. Wink
  • 1 0
 Brian nailed it with the comment on big Bank taking way too much money OUT of the industry!
  • 1 0
 theres way too much BAD ENGINEERING PRACTICE going on in the whole bicycle industry. its making me sick.
  • 1 0
 Will you guys be putting out a review of Commencal's new tempo?
  • 12 0
 Yep. I've got one in for testing now.
  • 6 9
 The manufacturers of eBikes (talking to you specifically Specialized & Santa Cruz) should be doing far more advocacy for the allowance of eBikes on trail systems. In the Bay Area we have very few trail systems we can legally ride on and I don't see Specialized, Santa Cruz doing bubkes in terms of helping out with that.
  • 2 0
 I agree. It is in the best interest of bike companies (especially the local ones) to help and lobby the local land management bureaus for more trail use. Not just ebikes for all mtb-ing. If there are less trails or no trails for their products, they don't do as well.

I don't have an ebike currently, but know I will likely get one in the near future because of overuse injuries and not riding as much. Right now, Midpeninsula won't allow them at all, yet they have some of the best trails for ebikes because of really steep climbs. Only Santa Clara County trails and possibly Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority trails (might want to double check).
  • 2 0
 Lower prices
  • 1 0
 Standards. The bike industry needs more standards.
  • 1 0
 Stop with all the bicycle whining, when is the next Formula 1 podcast?
  • 1 0
 That Propain Hugene has equal reach and chainstays on a size medium
  • 9 9
 Stop pushing people to buy things relentlessly
  • 26 3
 Why? Make your own decisions. Being a sheep is no excuse.
  • 2 1
 But then how would capitalism survive?
  • 2 0
 @DirtCrab: bleat bleat bleat
  • 4 4
 They should stop being businesses that try to make money.
  • 1 0
 "March 8th, 2022"
  • 1 1
 ...
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