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Opinion: Five Things The Bike Industry Could Do Better

Feb 23, 2023 at 6:54
by Seb Stott  
There's no doubt that bikes are better than ever. Technology has advanced to a point where most modern bikes ride really well if set up correctly. But from a rider's perspective, there seem to be a few glaring areas where most companies could be doing much better. So while some seem hell-bent on adding ever more advanced materials and electronics to our bikes in the hope of making us ride 0.1% faster, I'd humbly suggest there are lower-hanging fruits if product managers genuinely want to improve the user experience.



photo
Norco's suspension setup guide is exemplary. It's a crime it hasn't been universally copied.

Better suspension set up guides

Suspension setup is seen by many as a dark art. It's usually overlooked and often skewed by outdated ideas or downright myths. Even measuring sag (step one for any suspension tuning) is more complex than it sounds, and if you go to any trailhead you'll see plenty of riders with visibly-too-soft suspension. Now that many high-end bikes come with three or four different damping adjusters on both the fork and shock, plus volume spacers and air pressures to consider, it's easy to get lost and forget the basics. It's a shame because the best suspension is worthless without the right setup.

A suspension setup guide should be specific to the bike model and take into account rider weight, height, and riding style. It should make recommendations for fork and shock pressures (not sag), as well as volume spacers, damping settings, and even related non-suspension settings like bar height and tire pressure (get these wrong and the right suspension settings will feel horrible).

Norco's setup guide is by far the best here, although when I last used it the settings were a little off, so even it could use some tweaks and refinement.

But even a rough starting point is much better than nothing. And with most brands, you're on your own. If you have a non-RockShox shock, you usually have to look up the shock stroke before you can even begin working out what sag to aim for. That's needlessly unhelpful in my view.



Jack Moir Canyon Strive
Jack Moir's cockpit setup is an extreme example, but there are plenty of riders who want to raise their bars more than bike brands have deemed acceptable.

More stem spacers

Usually, the most expensive component on a bike is the fork, and once you cut the steerer tube down you can't make it longer again. That's why it's so frustrating when bike brands insist on cutting your $1,000+ fork's steerer as short as humanly possible. More than one product manager has admitted to me that the main reason for this is aesthetics.

I've argued before that bar height is just as important as saddle height, and no self-respecting cyclist would put up with her saddle a few centimeters too low. But while saddle height is adjustable via the seat clamp over at least a 100 mm range, most bikes come with about 20 mm of stem spacers to play with. Sometimes less.

Yes, you can swap the handlebar rise, but this usually only gives you another +/-20 mm or so and isn't as easy or cheap as swapping a stem spacer. If nothing else, it would be nice to have the option to try a higher bar height before deciding whether to buy another bar.

Yes, you might end up cutting the steerer tube down, but this is a ten-minute job with a ten-dollar pipe cutter.



photo

More proportionate sizing

It makes sense that bigger riders are able to pick a bigger bike, and these days, even the tallest riders can find something long enough. But if you look into the details, the increase in sizing is not in proportion. Not even close.

For example, the YT Capra 29 is available in five sizes from Small to XXL. YT recommends the small to riders of around 160cm, and the XXL to riders of 197cm - that's a difference of 23% in rider height. Across that range, the reach grows by 19%, but the stack grows by just 4%. So although taller riders get a considerably longer reach, their cockpit is barely higher. Adding stem spacers would help, but see my last point. Riders on the other end of the spectrum likely have to put up with their bars too high.

YT is ahead of the curve (barely) in that the chainstay length (aka rear-center) grows from 438 mm for sizes S-L, to 443 mm for XL and XXL. But that's a difference of just 1.1%, while the front center grows by 12%. That means taller riders have a much more rearwards weight distribution than shorter riders.

The obvious solution to this last point would be to lengthen the chainstay on the larger sizes in proportion to the front center, but this only makes sense if the ratio of front- to rear-center lengths is correct on the smallest size, because you can't make the chainstay much shorter. The Forbidden Dreadnought is one bike with genuinely proportionate rear-center lengths, but when I tested the XL (which has a 480mm chainstay length at sag) I found as many downsides as upsides, so perhaps smaller riders are riding chainstay lengths that are too long?



photo

Clear up unnecesary standards

It's hardly a hot take to say that ever-changing and proliferating standards are unpopular. But I actually think the bike industry is relatively good at making things cross-compatible - try swapping the wheels on your car with your neighbor's. And in many cases where a new standard has been introduced, there is at least some sort of reason. For example, Boost hubs made wheels stronger, and the switch to metric shocks added options for frame designers while (in theory) making the shocks more reliable.

But there is no need for 30.9 and 31.6 mm seat posts; straight-pull and J-bend spokes; 6-bolt and Centerlock brakes; XG, HG and Microspline freehubs, or 31.8 mm and 35 mm handlebars. Pick one, please.



Big clean up job at the Norco tent with a dash of new bearings.

Make frame bearing swaps easier

Most bicycle components are designed to be serviceable, and most maintenance tasks benefit from detailed online instructions and dedicated tools. But when it comes to replacing frame pivot bearings, you're on your own.

While some desert dwellers rarely need to replace these buggers, here in the UK I know people who do it more than once a year. And for a task that routine, it seems most frame designers haven't thought very hard about how the bearings are going to be replaced. They're sometimes recessed in hard-to-reach areas with curved surfaces, making it hard to use a proper bearing extractor tool. Swapping bearings can often require an unnerving combination of ingenuity and brutality to get the job done.

Many brands boast about having high-quality bearings, grease, and seals designed to improve bearing lifespan, but really this only delays the inevitable. Just like the oil in your car, sooner or later it'll be time for a change.

What I'd like to see are frames designed with bearing swaps in mind, with detailed instructions on the easiest and safest ways to do it, including the tools required, plus reasonably priced bearing kits, and/or a list of required bearing codes on the manufacturer's website.



What would you like to see bike manufacturers doing differently? Sound off in the comments. You never know - someone might actually take note.

Author Info:
seb-stott avatar

Member since Dec 29, 2014
321 articles

552 Comments
  • 567 30
 Most importantly, make good bikes more affordable. Some of the price to spec ratios these days are comical.
  • 56 14
 Tell me something that hasn't gone up loads in the last two years. Inflation is crazy. But, the mark up on some bikes is insane. They are in general just being greedy. Be nice to see them a sorb just a tiny bit of the increase in cost
  • 136 4
 It's going from dentist pricing territory to orthodontist.
  • 55 1
 Some companies like Norco, Marin, and Vitus, are doing a lot better at this, but those are certainly the minority in the industry.
  • 17 1
 @danielfloyd: Norco's and Kona's used to be the more affordable bikes when I got into the sport over 20 years ago.
  • 80 0
 Santa Cruz is selling new 2023 bikes for 20% off right now. Maybe they should have just priced them more competitively to begin with?
  • 4 2
 @Kamperk87: A Kona Honzo ESD is ~$3K now. Yeah, its a niche product but still.
  • 13 1
 @moabenchilada: Soon Oral Surgeons won't be buying Wakeboard/Waterski boats. They'll have to switch to mountain biking.
  • 6 1
 If you don’t need the latest and greatest, there are always end of life bikes to be had at more reasonable prices. Right now is actually pretty insane.
  • 9 41
flag 8a71b4 (Mar 2, 2023 at 9:31) (Below Threshold)
 Id settle for just "make good bikes". Between poor geometry layouts, overcomplicated suspension, shitty manufacturing methods that result in x% of bikes cracking, and lack of innovation, there is not a lot of bikes out there that are good. Most are Ok.
  • 7 0
 @danielfloyd: lol I just bought 2 Norcos, a Marin and a Vitus over the past year. Agreed!
  • 12 12
 @jwdenver: You clearly no nothing about psychology.

Every retailer everywhere does this. If you pay attention at your local grocery stores or big box stores they do this all the time. They'll come through one week and raise the prices on everything. Then the next week do a sale... but the sale is just lowering the price back down to where they were the week before. But people buy it because it's on sale.

Standard practice.

Everyone wants to feel like they got a deal.
  • 8 0
 @moabenchilada: we’ll be in neurosurgeon range by 2025
  • 3 0
 @LpCMvRQo + Price, quality, affordability, and a practical MTB Bike.
  • 8 5
 Their job is to make money period. Anything else is a by product of the effort. Not saying I like it but its the capitalism we all live with. Yeah wall st , etc!
  • 36 0
 You're telling me you DON'T want a $7,000 bike with NX Eagle on it? Wink
  • 5 0
 That change can only be made with our wallets.
  • 12 18
flag justanotherusername (Mar 2, 2023 at 10:51) (Below Threshold)
 Translation - ‘Make the bike industry immune to global inflation that has hit almost every single other industry and product’
  • 8 1
 @endorium: My paycheck.
  • 4 0
 @onemanarmy: True, no doubt, and I think the bike industry is caught in a suddenly soft market, where dealers placed orders for current inventory back when demand was high and msrp= sales price. Now they are faced with fewer buyers, inflated prices, and growing inventories, so sales become both a tool for selling and a necessity to generate revenue.
  • 1 0
 @dreamlink87: $3,700 Canadian and not really that good of components.
  • 87 17
 @endorium: I agree that prices are absurdly high,
and that sucks, especially for a sport that appeals/markets to young people with free spirits.
And yes, greed is definitely involved, but this isn't news in our world, IMO.
BUT having worked for a major brand before&during the pandemic,
I can tell you that they *were* absorbing much higher costs prior to price increases
Even before the pandemic, Trump's China Tariffs were already cutting into margins,
doubly so for any brands that assembled in the USA (e.g. SC, Yeti, Ibis)
www.bicycleretailer.com/industry-news/2020/01/15/some-bike-tariffs-reduced-many-still-place-after-trump-signs-phase-1-deal
I think most people, including Trump himself,
didn't realize that American companies were paying those tariffs out of pocket:
www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald-trump/fact-check-trump-says-china-paying-his-tariffs-he-s-n1038751
This was in addition to the usual rise in cost of doing business
due to the speculative nature of our economy.
Brands maintained MSRPs hoping the tariffs would be lifted, and they could then recoup their losses.
When cost of doing business skyrocketed during the pandemic,
brands didn't have enough headroom to wait until the market leveled (aka nowish)
Some are predicting a significant decline in home prices
www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/goldman-sachs-record-home-price-drop-b2268446.html
I think this will be mirrored in retail prices, albeit with a delay
due to the slower digestive system of the supply chain.
MY24 bikes to launch in July '23 are on order at an agreed upon price,
and the MSRPs are already cooked based on this.
As @jwdenver noted, bikes are being heavily discounted
no doubt to make room for this future inventory,
and pay off invoices from the tail end of 2022.
MY24 bikes will likely come out at still-inflated prices, and then be discounted immediately,
either via advertisement or in more "creative" ways.
But I predict that poor sales during 2023 (relative to the previous two years)
will allow(/necessitate) brands to negotiate lower prices with vendors for the MY25(2024) year,
resulting in lower MSRPs..
So, while 2024 will be a nightmare hellscape election year, bikes might be cheaper, so there's hope.
Also, I blame coffee for this rant. GOODNIGHT EVERYBODY
  • 16 4
 Agreed! I was taking a look at the SC sale and noticed that the XO1 AXS RSV Nomad 6 has a GX cassette and chain! What a dick move, honestly. Calling it XO1 without actually having a full xo1 drivetrain. Even the AXS controller was downgraded to GX!
  • 2 1
 @blcpdx: if prices are higher in at least a large part due to inflation how do you fathom RRP will be lower a year from now when inflation is still high?

Sales are always going to be poor vs the covid period but from what I have heard from a few UK industry peeps is that they are still above pre pandemic levels, they aren’t panicking at all and certainly don’t plan to reduce prices, party because due to inflation they can’t.

Higher prices are here to stay, the reality of high global inflation cannot be undone somehow, get used to it, no the bike industry isnt imploding either.
  • 20 1
 @danielfloyd: There are few bikes that can hold a candle to the Specialized Status for value to fun factor. $2250 gets you a ripper of a bike that you can send right out of the gate. Modern geometry, same size hardware throughout, non-obnoxious branding and a solid no bs kit to get started with.
  • 1 0
 @moabenchilada: LMAO !!! So true!
  • 4 0
 @dmob319:
As long as prices don't skyrocket to Rocket Surgeon levels!
  • 9 39
flag rcybak (Mar 2, 2023 at 13:43) (Below Threshold)
 @blcpdx: Holy shit, another way to blame Trump for something!
  • 6 0
 @justanotherusername: Bike sales aren't still above pre-pandemic levels in the UK:

"According to BA research, the sales of mechanical bikes fell by 22%, to an estimated 1.8 million units, in 2022 – 27% below pre-Covid levels in 2019. "

bikebiz.com/bike-sales-dip-to-lowest-levels-in-two-decades-according-to-bicycle-association

Lots of shops, brands, distributors and even bike factories in Asia will go bankrupt this year
  • 4 2
 @tom666: the figures you quote there may as well be about a different industry vs the bike and components the average PB visitor uses.

Cheap bike sales have absolutely shit themselves, no doubt.

Note how the article says the most expensive bikes of all - Ebike sales are stable and gravel is up.

People I know in the industry manufacture / sell high end components and frames to us lot, they are doing just fine right now, as I say they are still up on pre pandemic levels.

Let’s wait and see how many business in this end of the market go bump this year, it won’t be as exciting as what half of PB / yourself seem to be longing for.
  • 7 0
 @endorium: The significant increase in prices of new bikes started long before our current inflation rate change.
  • 14 0
 @justanotherusername: thanks for reading my comment - you are a true champion.
1.) The idea that prices will rise forever into infinity is depressing and boring, we're just spitballing here in the comments.
2+n.)
MSRPs are the final link in the pricing supply chain.
Thus, variations in the earlier links can yield magnified changes in the later stages.
I have heard from friends in the Ops/SupChn world that prices of shipping and components have come down significantly.
e.g. www.shiphub.co/shipping-cost-is-down

Brands are already in a price war: Specialized began discounting in Oct 22.
www.singletracks.com/mtb-gear/specialized-made-too-many-bikes-save-up-to-2200-thru-monday
Feedback from retailers was that this bolted other brands to the floor.
Now SC is at 20% off? huh..weird.
With fewer technological innovations to differentiate the pedal-bike market,
and decreased demand due to demand that was "pulled forward" during the pandemic,
exec's will have few options other than to compete on price.

Home prices in your resident country of Canada went up 50% during the pandemic.
They've already fallen 15% from their peak, and are predicted to fall further.
www.reuters.com/world/americas/canada-home-prices-drop-12-2023-still-remain-unaffordable-many-2023-03-01
How many realtors told their clients "Higher prices are here to stay, the reality of high global inflation cannot be undone somehow, get used to it!"

Putting aside the Anglo penchant for emotional understatement,
which your "UK industry peeps" might be employing,
my assertion was that poor sales in 2023 will precipitate changes in 2024.
Key word is "will", future tense.
Sales in Q1 are always less consequential than Q2/Q3 in markets between the 30N & 60N parallels.
Summer is the bicycle industry's Black Friday, and if it doesn't come off, you've got problems.
Only time will tell.

I never said the bike industry was imploding, if that was directed at me.
At most, I'm suggesting that it will go back to where it was,
which could be considered a crisis if you're a private equity group that bought a bicycle business hoping to get in on the ride up: sterlingpartners.com/company/velo
In 2014 it was reported that retailers lost ~4% net profits on each bike sold.
www.bicycleretailer.com/retail-news/2014/07/29/fred-clements-are-bikes-black-hole-ibd-profitability#.ZAEbP7TMJ6E

As exhibited in the movie "The Platform",
the loss of an advantage can be worse than never having it at all.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=RlfooqeZcdY
  • 1 0
 @moabenchilada: pushing toward endodontist!
  • 5 0
 if they made more things universal or standard, this would for sure happen! and in 100% agreement! problem is, there is money in propriety shit... like Yeti! stupid suspension design that everyone thinks is going to make them faster... its not
  • 2 0
 You get what you pay for. I think we can all agree that bike quality is insanely good right now. quite a few brands offer lifetime warranties and crash replacement on frames. Shimano is kicking out amazing products deore and I’m really excited by the even cheaper and supposedly more reliable stuff they just brought to market. Both Rockshox and fox are essentially making suspension products that were top of the line just five years ago for budget prices. And the stuff is good.



But at the end of the day that still prices so many people out of the sport. But these brands could easily produce really high quality hardtail and rigid single speed bikes for a price most kids could afford with some lawn mowing money while still putting away some savings for college.

Fact is i have had an absolute blast riding rigid bikes. And I never would’ve been able to afford to get into the sport, substantially get hooked, and then save for a full sus when my economic situation changed had there not been quality rigid bikes for a fairly reasonable price that were very cheap to maintain. Pretty much all the major manufacturers have dropped these type of bikes from the lineup.

I’d never afford getting into the sport if that were the case back when I randomly decided to give it a go
  • 8 0
 @moabenchilada:
More like proctologist pricing.
  • 5 1
 Agreed. I know lots of ppl who are not going to take the bait on new bikes/parts. We ride what we have and spend money on other hobbies. The Industry is gonna get a wake up call soon.....the sucker population is on E Bikes.
  • 2 0
 @moabenchilada: The plan is to price good riders who know bikes out of the market so in the future they don't have to spend a thing on RND and they can even release 26 inch again and no one will know.
  • 4 0
 @bulletbassman: My first dh bike years ago was almost as expensive then as an entry level Tues now - it was essentially shite too.

The Tues may have lower label parts but will be a better, faster bike and is around the same price at £3500 vs this bike 20 yrs ago despite 20 years of inflation.

It’s easier than ever now to get into the sport, I can get a Capra 1 for £2500 for example or a hard tail with decent geometry for going fast for less than £1000.
  • 3 1
 @blcpdx: why bike prices are completely stupid high also in Europe, which luckly has not had the orange clown?
The only reason prices are so high is greed. Bike companies thought they were the new Apple, misunderstanding a bubble (covid) for a business idea. They have no professional analysts and no long term plan. That's the reason why the warehouses are full now, even if a kid could have predicted the end of the bubble.
  • 3 3
 @cashew: you are as wrong as you are deluded.

You think giant bikes have no professional analysts or long term plan?

Yet again - why do you think the bike industry should be entirely insulated from global inflation?
  • 5 0
 @justanotherusername: I think people are mad not because the inflation, but because they feel bike prices are a ripoff for many many years now. So people think bike prices were completely unjustified (e.g. bikes more expensive than motorbikes) and now they are rised even higher (this time this rise is probably justified, but the base price was not). And looking at SC it's hard not to agree. Put is another way, people believe that bike companies had margins so high that they don't need to rise prices and would still earn shit load of money.
  • 4 2
 @lkubica: use logic here - if somebody was able to setup a bike company and undercut all of the other bike companies while still making a considerable margin, wouldn’t someone have done it?

The reason someone hasn’t is because its nonsense - if you want a bike to cost less then we need to delete 95% of all companies, have 4-5 huge companies left who can leverage scale and standardise components.

The PB commenters conspiracy that a shady cabal of company owners set pricing is a fantasy.
  • 1 0
 @justanotherusername: I know that. But it's not 100% like this, I think MTB market is quite shallow and competition is not fierce, even direct to consumer brands are not much cheaper than big brands. So I think that there are not enough competition on the market AND the market accept those prices, since high end MTBs are primarily middle class toys. It's obvious that you sell for the prices someone wants to buy, people still buy so it's not a problem (= there is enough wealthy people interested in mtb to be able to keep prices high).
  • 4 0
 @justanotherusername: The problem is not that bikes prices are going up due to "inflation", the problem is your currency is being debased, due to money printing and the way the banking system is set up
With technology, robotics, scale of production in the industry, not to mention most things being produced in low wage countries , bikes should actually getting cheaper!
  • 2 0
 @justanotherusername: global inflation? Look at the price rise from 2020 to 2022, it's waaaay more than the inflation (which got steep in the past 12 months). Look at Specialized, who now is cutting prices because they have to sell all their overpriced ebikes that the whole world should have bought (analysts? LMAO).
Giant was the one of the few companies that already in 2020 recognized the bubble (article on the NYT: www.nytimes.com/2020/08/17/business/giant-bikes-coronavirus-shortage.html), as few others, like Shimano who said f**k off to a bunch of western brands that tried to convince them to raise production. Guess the reply.
And guess who ordered like a madman and now has to lower the prices.
  • 2 1
 @cashew: So let me get this right -the ‘industry’ all thought it was a bubble apart from the parts of the industry that didn’t think it was a bubble, riiiight….

As I will say again, if it’s all just greed where is the new start up bike company undercutting all of these existing greedy bike brands while still taking it in? - any explanation or just more conspiracy talk and whining about the evil industry?

And inflation is calculated by taking the price increases of various products and commodities, just because average inflation is a given figure, it doesn’t mean other sectors aren’t higher, like food for example here in the Uk still over 15% while overall inflation below 10%

I am sure you guys think bike companies are run by billionaire evil villains, it’s pretty funny.
  • 1 0
 @dhrracer: I have got a feeling there was a massive increase of people getting into the sports, as it is the new Golf and the normalos of us struggle to afford it now....
  • 1 0
 @8a71b4: what the hell are you talking about. I doubt you actually ride bikes, mostly complain at the trail head
  • 2 1
 Bike companies have officially jumped the shark. f*ckem. My local shop has 10 Santa Cruz bikes just sitting. I can’t afford them now, and neither can many other people. I’ll keep my 2017 model rolling.
  • 3 1
 Been riding since 1995. Still ride a hard tail. I still don't understand how the Husqvarna Svartpilen 401 motorcycle that I'm going to buy is only $5,600. But the Yeti SB160 X01 Eagle is $10,500!! And Don't say the difference is research and design costs!! Or complicated parts!! This is simple greed on the bike manufacturers.
  • 2 0
 @1985haromaster: Ill repeat what I wrote above:

"Use logic here - if somebody was able to setup a bike company and undercut all of the other bike companies while still making a considerable margin, wouldn’t someone have done it?

The reason someone hasn’t is because its nonsense - if you want a bike to cost less then we need to delete 95% of all companies, have 4-5 huge companies left who can leverage scale and standardise components"

You also dont have huge re-seller and dealer networks for motorcycles, its often just single-brand or franchised dealers, essentially the business is structured entirely differently.

Also - Yeti are a boutique brand and the SB160 is a flagship bike, a Husqvarna Svartpilen 401 is a very low end commuter at best, you should compare the SB to a Ducati V4SP.
  • 3 4
 It get's out of hand. Some of the prices on bikes are beyond absurd. I'd like to know the actual cost (the real cost) to produce a frame. Yeti, Santa Cruz, Revel and Pivot would be my choices to see. I'd be curious to see what the margins are, I'm willing to bet they rival pharmaceutical companies. lol.
  • 6 0
 @Ndcent23: whats getting out of hand is the nonsense people like you are writing - bike companies 'rival pharmaceutical companies' profit margins now - are you on crack?
  • 2 0
 @Ndcent23: You want a cheap bike -https://www.planetx.co.uk/i/q/CBOOHDGX/on-one-hello-dave-sram-gx-mountain-bike

Can you afford to drive a lamborghini? - Can you afford to ride a Yeti? - Sometimes in life there are things we cant afford no matter how angry we get about them.
  • 1 0
 @jwdenver: well that isn't how psychology in marketing works, but you have a bit of a point. lol
  • 1 0
 @justanotherusername: no, I think (and I know) that many people in the bike industry are amateurs but you know "they are passionate cyclists".
  • 2 0
 @cashew: while I do know people in the bike industry who are not massive cyclists. All of them are there cause they believe in it regardless if it’s their main passion in life or not and nobody is getting rich in the bike industry that couldn’t do better elsewhere.
  • 1 0
 @endorium: I have to agree, it seems that MANY businesses, across many industries have it in their heads that they must now dial up the pricing to make up for their losses over the duration of the PANDEMIC??
Well, what they fail to realize is that virtually ALL CONSUMERS were kicked in the crotch just as hard (and in some cases harder) than businesses were. No one is going to write consumers an apology letter for what they went through, or write them a cheque for all their lost income, so why do so many companies seem to feel their entitled to put the screws to the very people that they depend on to remain in business??
Yes, perhaps a naive, oversimplification of the whole PANDEMIC ordeal, but the question of WTF?? still remains.........
  • 1 0
 @rzicc: Yeti = broken frames. Yeti cries the blues, and delays honoring their warranty (was my experience).
  • 2 0
 @bulletbassman: Kids mowing lawns, or working for that matter??!! What world are you living in? Those were in my generation, not in todays generation.
  • 2 0
 @suspended-flesh: Let's be honest now.... Ebikes = Lazy bikes.
  • 1 0
 @edmfirefighter1: I’ve employed 3 teenagers over the last year at different jobs
  • 1 0
 @danielfloyd: norco isn’t all cheap. The high end stuff is wayyy up there
  • 1 0
 @olafthemoose: Absolutely, they have massively increased their prices over the last 3 years. And, like all North American brands, they are stupidly expensive in Europe compared to their prices in USD. Take the Fluid FS A4 for example: in North America they retail for $1999, in Europe that same bike is sold for 2799€. Great budget option if you live in North America, overpriced a.f. in Europe. I absolutely love my Norco Optic, but I don't see myself buying another Norco if the prices don't come down.
  • 1 0
 @Muscovir: yup. It is definitely worth noting the quality of their bikes has equally skyrocketed. They hired some new engineers to develop the aurum hsp, and all their bikes have really turned up since then. Across their entire lineup. Their European prices are ridiculous, but their high end aluminum builds are seriously hard to beat in North America. Not just the price but the builds
  • 1 0
 @bulletbassman: That's great, they need to be working, not on their electronic devices 24/7. They need to learn to appreciate a hard days work, and the value of earning their own $$$ to buy AND build their dream bike.
  • 3 1
 This same comment every time. Like it’s some kind of clever conspiracy hatched just to piss off 90% of MTB consumers. Don’t you think that if there was a magic bullet somebody would have stepped up by now to make those cheaper, durable, high-performance bikes y’all keep whining about? I don’t think what bothers the whiners is the cost of todays high-end bikes and e-bikes so much as the fact that those bikes exist but they can’t afford them. Get over it. I can’t afford them either (doesn’t stop me from buying them though LOL). The guy I know with the nicest bike is an electrician. These are not yachts people. If you want the sweetest, cutting edge thing you’ll have to pay for it. Nobody’s business is going to go under just to gift you a sweet bike. Besides, the top end stuff is diminishing returns anyway - the performance difference between a $4k YT and a $13k Santa Cruz is almost zero.
  • 2 0
 @Muscovir: Something to consider when the price is (for example) £2399 GBP / €2799 EUR but $1999 USD is that our prices in Europe tend to include all the taxes already. For example in the UK we have VAT at 20% which is included in the £2399 price. I believe France and Germany have similar (19/20%). In the US you would pay $1999 PLUS tax (their sales tax varies by state and county).

The other factor is import taxes and duties - for example if the EU imposes a duty on goods imported from China, Taiwan, Vietnam or wherever your bike was made but the US has a different policy that may make it cheaper in the US and more expensive in Europe and that has nothing to do with the bike company, they're just complying with the law.

So by the time you buy a bike for 2799 EUR, probably at least a third of that is tax. 12% or whatever duty entering the EU and then 20% VAT at the point of sale in Germany.
  • 1 0
 @endorium: people’s
Wages
  • 1 0
 @jwdenver: But this way you can say you have a 'more expensive' bike! And that's why we're all in the sport, right?
  • 2 0
 Let's make affordable bikes better to start with. An entry level bike from 1993 should not be more reliable than an entry level bike made in 2023... however, that is exactly the case a lot of times. The parts selection makes no since half of the time. There is not a place in this universe where a SR Suntour XC 28 wet noodle of a fork belongs on anything sized Large or above. The humans that are likely to be onboard those bikes are far too large to get even a little bit of stability from those things.... and yet, big box stores are full of em'. Bikes from Cannondale, GT, are just as bad as Schwinn or Mongoose when it comes to marketing a bike as an MTB and then hanging parts that won't last one month of light trail use. It infuriates me to see local kids struggling to keep their bikes going because of this crap. If a cheap bike has to suck, fine, but it should suck reliably at least!
  • 1 0
 Yep!
Why is it that an entry level MTB today is far batter value than it was 20years ago but the mid range bike prices have skyrocketed?
In 1998 I got my first MTB. It was a fully rigid Giant ATX870. Had an Alloy frame, Full Shimano STX groupset, canti brakes and rigid fork and cost me $1000 AUD. That price by todays money with inflation is over $2200 AUD!
Yet, I bought my daugher a Liv Tempt2 which has an alloy frame, low end but well functioning suspension fork, hydro disk brakes and Shimano Altus groupset for $1000AUD this last christmas. So, at the $1000 price range, bikes are far better value than ever but at the mid to higher end price range the prices are astronomical. Have you seen the prices of new Alloy frame bikes in the mid range price range? They have gone nuts depite alloy supposedly being the budget option. Can't be the cost of the materials because the material to make the alloy frame 20years ago doesn't seem to have affected the cost of the frame on the new Liv Tempt 2 today. So, where is the huge discrepancy! Why are $1000 alloy bikes today able to iffer such good value for money but mid range alloy bikes such bad value for money?
  • 2 0
 @Tone1313: I have a nice analogy

A Honda Accord is objectively a lot better value than an Audi TT RS. An Audi TT RS is a lot better value than a Porsche 911 GT3 RS.

That's actually quite a good analogy for a $800 to a $3,000 to a $10,000 bike

A Honda Accord, like a Trek Marlin or a Liv Tempt 2, is truly mass produced. Probably 500,000 units a year plus. An Audi TT RS is analogous to Trek Slash 8 or similar, probably >50 times less volume than a Honda Accord. Porsche GT3 RS is like a top-end bike with carbon everything, AXS and flight attendant, maybe you make 500 a year of that bike?

Performance difference between a Honda Accord and an Audi TT RS is pretty massive on a race track. Same with a Trek Marlin vs a Slash 8. Difference between the Audi TT RS and Porsche 911 RS is a lot closer. Only really makes a difference on a race track in the hands of an expert.

When people point at a $10,000 bike and say I could get a Honda CRF450 motorbike for that, they're comparing a top-end push bike that sells a few hundred units a year to one of the best selling MX bikes of all time that has presumably sold over 100,000 units and shares almost all its parts with other Honda bikes. Honda sold 17 million motorbikes in 2022.
  • 4 0
 As an independent bike fitter, there’s a few things I’d love to see. Integrated stem/bar combinations might be great for the pros but just not practical for most folks. I can’t just swap a stem or bars for the customer not to mention different sizes are not always available for the consumer to purchase bc well, the bike industry is just not great at having enough replacement options parts to go around. I’ve never worked in an industry where so many things are always OOS.
Thru axles. It’s a glorified bolt folks; why can’t the industry just settle on a thread pitch? Fine, medium, coarse…really?Cmon. It makes no difference. I’m a tool and die maker’s son (now we call them machinists) and it’s laughable that the industry can’t agree on a standard here.
While we are at it, BBs. What’s old is new again. Funny how manufacturers are now gravitating towards the thread in cups. So easy and cheap to swap out without having to assemble a bearing puller or a headset press to install.
Sometimes I wonder if any of these engineers have ever even ridden a bike, much less serviced one.
  • 1 0
 $6k+ bikes with GX kit and low end suspension is the new standard. Garbage.
  • 1 0
 @mtbbodhi: when a frameset is $3500, what do you want them do do with $2500 for the rest of the bike???
  • 1 0
 @endorium: not the way anything works, ever.....just like taxes. only consumers pay taxes. a business(non-human entity) has never once paid a tax. They do pay your consumption tax for you though(and then add it to the price of their product or service). the sooner everyone understands that, the sooner you will live easier.
  • 1 0
 @1985haromaster: economies of scale, costs of production and indeed quality of final product relative to the marketplace(that Husky is a base honda fit compared to it's competitors, wherein the Yeti is a 911 GT4RS).

I mean, do you think that the Yeti really only costs them $2000 to make and the 8500 is profit? you understand if that were true, someone somewhere would come along, make that same quality bike and sell it for $4000 and absolutely eat Yeti's lunch, right?
  • 1 0
 @tom666: I understand the argument about volume bringing the price down. The issue is, that a Trek Fuel or Slash is still a mass produced bike. Sure, they are making less of them than the Marlin but not by so much that the cost of manufacture be so great (keeping in mind that obviously the full suss frames cost more due to linkages and shock etc, that we know).
Even compared to 2019 when I bought a Remedy 8 for $4199AUD, a similar spec bike in 2023 is the Slash 8 at $6499!!!!! Same spec, same Alloy frame has increased by $2300!! So you're saying that this increase in relatively the same bike is to do with volume? I think not! I'm sure Trek make a similar amount of Slash's today than they did Remedy's back in 2018. Bike companies use the excuse that it's the materials that have gone up in price and freight costs but these havent effected lower end bikes somehow???
  • 1 0
 @Tone1313: the AUD has taken a gigantic shit, compared to the USD, Euro and Pound. that is the bulk of your increase, and the remainder being price increases due to world money printing.
  • 1 0
 @Mtbdialed: Actually, the USD to AUD exchange rate is currently 1.48 AUD and in 2019 it was 1.44 AUD. Not a huge difference.
  • 1 0
 @Tone1313: Volume is the reason an $800 bike is so good relative to a $3,000 bike relative to a $10,000 bike and the "value" gets worse with each increase.

The reason the Slash 8 has gone up so much in price is increase in prices in Asia for materials, labor, parts and shipping. During these current shortages of equipment nobody is in any position to negotiate on price. You then get charged a 10-12% duty on that cost price bringing it into the west. Then Trek have to add their margin to get to a price they're willing to sell the bike to a shop for. Then shops have to make their margin so they can keep their doors open. So only a couple hundred dollars of increased cost at manufacturing level leads to a huge price increase at retail.

Parts prices should come back down and shipping prices have come down, but companies had to overpay during the pandemic to get bikes and it's now being reflected in prices
  • 1 0
 @Tone1313: what was it in mid 2020 when inflation started to rise? it was 30% better to the AUD. then Covid policies in the AUS made it perform demonstrably worse than the dollar. in 2019 inflation was like 2.4% lol. by late 2021 it was 8-10%. THAT is where the trouble lied for the AUD
  • 1 0
 @Mtbdialed: for a start, the prices havent just skyrocketed in Australia in the last three years but worldwide. An alloy, full suspension, GX equipped bike has gone up by thousands compared to 2019. If it was just the exchange rate that was to blame for most of this, how come $1000 bikes are better value than ever? And i'm jst comparing mass produces alloy bikes here, no point bringing companies like Yeti into it as the analogy doesnt work..
  • 1 0
 @tom666: you said "The reason the Slash 8 has gone up so much in price is increase in prices in Asia for materials, labor, parts and shipping"

Again, the Slash uses similar raw materials to a Marlin. Sure it gets a much better fork, has a rear shock and better componentry, i get that, but the raw materials to build both bikes and their components are very similar so the increases should apply to both ends of the market. Shipping increases should also apply to both as they cost exactly the same to ship as too do the labour costs. No idea, but i doubt anyone on the Slash production line is getting paid more than the Marlin production line but I could be wrong.
  • 1 0
 @Tone1313: The Marlin has gotten more expensive linearly with the Slash. In 2020 a Marlin 5 was £495 and now it's £620. Both have gone up like 25% or so in the same time period without gaining anything in spec.
  • 1 0
 @tom666: Remedy 8 and Slash have gone up 50% here in Australia since the end of 2019.
  • 1 0
 @cashew: sorry for the belated reply, perhaps you'll never see it.
BE THAT AS IT MAY!
a.) I agree with you vis-a-vis the lack of planning and greed.
Lots of us saw it coming, but those at the top
refused to consider that possibility (at least outwardly)
for fear of disapproval from their fath..I mean superior exec,
or were, as you said, wistfully looking out the window,
daydreaming of being the Apple execs in the private jets flying by.

It's important to consider that, relative to other fields,
bicycle industry employees make very little money, and get very little clout
(it's likely your family will always think you work at a bike shop, no matter what)

In the same way that kids in the US want to grow up to play in the NBA
and not Major League Soccer,
there just isn't a ton of talent coming into the bike industry.

And it's not a problem that can be resolved quickly.
You can bring a pile of MBA's into the bike industry,
but they don't really *understand* it.
That same group would need 10+ years in the bike world,
going between different companies, in different sectors of the industry,
refining the data collected by the person before them
to be able to break this negative feedback loop.

But alas, they drop in like paratroopers,
see how f&cked everything is,
try to help,
and then evacuate to the sweet security of FinTech.

I'd recommend Malcolm Gladwell's "Outliers" for some perspective on how
long it takes for top performers to develop (despite seeming like overnight successes)
www.goodreads.com/book/show/3228917-outliers

b.) I don't believe "Europe", if we can refer to it as a monolith,
is known for its freewheeling trade policies resulting in lower cost of doing business.
On the contrary, it is my understanding that Europe has relatively strong import restrictions to protect its markets.
This means higher prices for the consumer, in exchange for (potentially) more secure jobs.
Am I wrong about all that?

c.) North American brands which have a subsidiary in Europe
can bypass many import fees, and sell directly to retailers.
Brands that don't have a subsidiary are on the hook for these import fees,
AND must sell through a distributor, which marks up the product up again.

Specialized and Giant are large enough to afford subsidiaries.
This is why their price points have always been MUCH lower in CAN and EU
compared to other brands like Santa Cruz, Yeti, etc.
(in addition to their stronger position in the supply chain)
  • 1 0
 @bulletbassman: 99% agree with you. Bike prices being discussed here are compared to Porshes and Lambos on car universe.
Just would change that "ride how you can, with the bike you have today" Ok, I also want to do a Rampage once in my life, but I don´t have the technique and also the HW needed, in the meantime, I just do my light XC with a lot of fun!
  • 166 8
 The main thing the industry needs to do better is not to make cable through the headset Bikes!
  • 25 1
 through the headset but then outside.
  • 7 1
 @Korbi777: How about through the handlebars.. through the headset.
  • 6 0
 I'd like to see handlebars routed through the headset. Bike engineers, make it happen!
  • 2 0
 Having recently put together 3 bikes with internal routing and no external option + one where there was an option but came routed internally, I 100% agree. Give users an option on whether they rout internally or externally, or a combination of both. Not that hard to accomplish, though (and the reason why this is rare) it costs more to manufacture and isn't something you can add to the marketing hype...or maybe it could be??
  • 8 0
 @noapathy: sounds like you just invented a quill stem
  • 2 0
 @probikesupplynewport: I don't think you understand. I want the handlebars to go through the headset, not the stem. If done properly, we could eliminate the stem altogether.
  • 2 1
 @noapathy: and the steering, too
  • 2 3
 No, more cables in the headset please. It looks super clean and I prefer not to ride rain anyway. Maybe headset bushings instead of bearings, then we dont need to worry about rain.
  • 2 0
 @Fishman26: gotta assume you are joking or have zero understanding of the properties of a bushing....

a headset is, without thinking too hard, the literal last place you would want to run a bushing. it would last like, 1/2 of a medium length ride. lol
  • 1 1
 Obviously the answer to ending cable routing through headsets is no more cables, period. AXS & Di hydraulic brakes, duh!
  • 1 0
 @Philthy503: learn how to foot jam, no worries
  • 1 0
 @Korbi777: I just threw up in my mouth a little bit
  • 1 2
 @Warren569: headset cable routing=cheaper, stronger, cleaner.

yes it's a pain in the dick every 2 years when you need a new headset.
  • 125 10
 No bike under $1000 should come with a suspension fork. Nothing good happens on a cheap coil Suntour. Put a light rigid fork and plus tires on it and put the savings towards including a dropper.

Cheap suspension is worse than no suspension.
  • 17 0
 Agree. Rigid with dropper is better than hardtail with full post. Your arms and legs are the best suspension, and the dropper allows you to use them fully.
  • 14 0
 +1000! And I’d like to add, can we get rid of double and triple (!!) chainrings on low end bikes too?A few years ago I had to get my kids 24” mountain bikes that came with trash forks and triple front rings because that was all I could find.
  • 4 0
 @Rich-Izinia: That's why kids 24" bikes weigh 36lbs!
  • 1 0
 As long as it’s a dropper that’s proportional to the bikes size.
  • 4 0
 Agree but a lot of sub $1000 bikes will go to first time buyers who understandably won't appreciate this.
  • 10 0
 @Rich-Izinia: I have a feeling that the new CUES drivetrain will move a lot of cheaper bikes to 1x.
  • 4 0
 Wasn't always like that. A Manitou Minute was still better than a rigid fork. A Reba was as well.
  • 6 0
 During my first long (for me) back country ride, my $150 mongoose with cheap fork converted himself into a rigid single speed.
  • 2 0
 @Mac1987: Those weren't ultra budget forks. Today's €1000 bikes are yesterday's €500 bikes.
  • 1 0
 @Rich-Izinia: I believe CUE will be the solution.
  • 1 0
 @ak-77: they were installed on €800 bikes. With inflation, that amounts to €1,150 in today's money. That's a budget bike, and with technical advances, I would expect that performance on €1,000 bikes.
  • 2 0
 I feel like the joy of riding a rigid MTB on not XC style trails (I mean rocky, featured trails that one might find an enduro bike suitable for) is a bit lost in today's bike scene. It really makes for different and enjoyable riding experience. Not as fast, for sure, but still a great time.
This is basically to say, I think that your comment is a great idea and would make riding also more accessible for lower income folks as well.
  • 3 1
 I disagree here. Forego the dropper post and get a suspension fork. The proper way to ride a hardtail is to be active and stand up. Put your work into weighting the front wheel, command it go where it should. Learn to pump the bike and put some hard stomps in where needed. Lower the saddle, you won't need it. Being able to raise it on the fly, sit down and suffer is a luxury but will give you less joy than trying to make the front wheel track and allow the rear to fly about. If you really have longer climbs and need to sit, you can always use a QR seatpost clamp. If you've been climbing for 30+ minutes and are about to drop into a fun descend, you'd rather catch a breath and focus rather than waste no time, use the dropper and drop in immediately.
  • 2 0
 @vinay: except when you're in Flatland, where climbs are 10 seconds, flat sections a couple of minutes, and descents 5 seconds.
  • 1 0
 @Mac1987: When in Flatland, it is always good to discover new dimensions Wink . Either way, a couple of minutes climbing whilst standing up should be doable for everyone, just like everyone should be able to walk up a climb for a couple of minutes. But I didn't interpret that as the issue here. It was more like "when on a budget, should one either get the suspension for or the dropper seatpost?" And I'd say, get suspension fork and leave the saddle low for most of the ride. You may lose a few seconds here and there if you need to manually adjust it (lower it after the ride to the trailhead, before and after a long but smooth climb etc) but a suspension fork is something you get to enjoy for the most relevant parts of the ride.

But yeah, it seems like the advocates for "droppers before everything else" are more like "if I can't adjust it on the fly then I'm going to leave the saddle high" and indeed if one would insist on that then I'm going to agree: get the dropper. You need room to move around over your bike.
  • 1 0
 @Mac1987: Exact price points aside, there will be a level of suspension forks where the performance doesn't justify the added weight and complexity. Reba's are definitely not in that league, I agree. Suntour coil forks have been specced on the lowest level hardtail since forever. It was never a good idea if you ask me.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: if I am not mistaken you are also in Flatland NL, no, just like @Mac1987 and me. Would you seriously advocate riding the trails here with your saddle all the way down all the time?
In the Alps, with 2hr climbs followed by 30 minute descents, yes. But if I would do this on my local courses it would mean that I would be out of the saddle for 2hrs, not 2 minutes.
I do have a hardtail as a secondary bike, that doesn't have a dropper. I sometimes lower the saddle quickly with the qr for descents or jumps. When I put it up it is usually a bit lower than ideal pedaling height but nowhere near a level that allows proper descending/pumping techniques.
  • 1 0
 @ak-77: Yes I am. Back when I started out I indeed started with the saddle high. As the trails were a 30 to 45minutes ride from home, I kept the saddle high on the ride to the trails to only lower it there. It was on my previous frame (a DMR Switchback I bought in 200Cool that this got me in trouble. The 26.8mm seatposts would bend and become harder to slide down into the frame. RaceFace, Azonic, NC17, all of them. Eventually I bought a Thomson but as it was so expensive I didn't dare to extend it anymore Wink . From then onwards I just kept the saddle low and it didn't bother me one bit. In 2018 I had a new frame built (BTR Ranger). Even though it has the geometry of a their large model (for 26" wheels), I went with a 400mm seattube. It allows me to slam the saddle low enough yet with a 400mm seatpost (with 100mm insertion), I can still get the saddle up to XC height. Turns out I hardly ever use it. But I'm no marathon racer nor do I go for all day rides. Typically two hours or so. Stuff like Lage/Hoge Vuursche, Schoorl etc, all fine with a low saddle. For me seated pedaling feels boring, the bike really comes alive when you stand up. If I'm getting a bit more tired or take a chill every half an hour, so what? I'm not racing nor preserving energy. When I see people grind up a seated climb it does indeed look like suffering. Standing climbs are more like dancing. It may be harder at times to maintain steady rear wheel traction or to avoid those dead spots, yes. But I feel that's a fun challenge. Sitting and spinning is just suffering, no fun at all.
  • 1 0
 @Andykmn: what's your age?
  • 1 0
 @Mac1987: we are talking about MOuNTAIN biking after all...
  • 1 0
 @therealnobody: not sure what that matters. I'm 38.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: Respect for you and your calves! I prefer to do most of my climbing and flat pedaling seated, but to each their own. If I ever happen to cross your path on the trail I will know how to recognize you
  • 1 0
 @dcaf: that and steel bars. Ugh!
  • 1 0
 @kevinturner12: yes, nailed it. When faced with a bike with a rigid fork Vs bike with POS suspension fork, little Kevin's parents (and little Kevin) are going POS 100% of the time. Sadly.
  • 1 0
 @Rich-Izinia: Decent kids bikes are out there, they just cost more than department store junk. I just sold a like new Devinci Ewoc 24 LTD here on PinkBike for less than $700 CAD after having it for sale for 4 months. It was pretty well equipped for kids bike with a decent suntour air fork, tektro hydraulic brakes, a wide range 1x Shimano drivetrain and most of all proper MTB geometry. Folks think they need a $7000 enduro bike to ride the local cross-country trails, but balk at spending even 1/10th that on a kids bike.
  • 1 0
 @ak-77: Funny enough, I don't even think my calves are even particularly big. I think calves are mostly utilized by those who have the ball of their foot over the pedal axle, but I have my midfoot over that axle so that takes away some of the leverage. Even though I try to be explosive, I've got more the genetics and build of a marathon runner. For standing up on a bike, it is mostly the glutes and core that's being utilized so these are probably relatively strong. I'm probably pretty easy to spot. Brown guy, long hair, T-shirt with the sleeves cut off, green (RAL6001) hardtail with the saddle low, white fork lowers, 26" wheels, one green brake master, the other one red... Basically, I don't quite jive with modern day fashion Smile .
  • 1 0
 @vinay: Sounds like you are a few yellow details short of a rastafari bike look . Certainly not the run of the mill, I like it!
I remember way back when I had just started riding, my seatpost bolt broke and I had to ride an hour without saddle. My calves were what I felt the most then, hence my remark.
  • 1 0
 @ak-77: Haha, yeah there are days I fit that image really well. I also have a fork with yellow lowers but I don't have it installed at the moment. And you'd also see me wearing blue and orange sometimes so yeah, I'm not even the typical rastafari Smile .

As for the calves, were you still riding with the ball of your foot over the pedal axle? If so I can imagine they take a beating! I've got these big Catalyst pedals on everything (commuters, BMX, mountainbike, mountain unicycle) and the creator thereof insist on riding with the midfoot over the pedal axle so that's what I'm doing. It is definitely easier on the calves and allows you to push harder. I suppose it could be done with smaller pedals too but you'd then want some fairly stiff shoes to distribute the load. Also, at the end of the day, what you're feeling most after a ride is what's your weakest link. Doesn't necessarily imply that it is actually weak, just that the rest is stronger. That may be a more positive way to look at it Smile .
  • 1 0
 @therealnobody: I know. And I personally wouldn't want to do real MOuNTAIN biking on a bike without front suspension anyway. And in areas (sometimes complete countries) where you can only do fake MOuNTAIn biking, I'd still get a bike with somewhat decent front suspension and get an affordable dropper post as an upgrade.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: agreed on all points, also on the 'new dimensions'. That's why we take trips to countries with actual mountains every once in a while. Definitely a better experience than Flatland, although we do try to make the best out of the limited hills we have.
I'd personally always choose a bike with somewhat decent suspension, second hand or not, and buy an affordable dropper post. They can be had for €100-150, while decent front suspension costs at least €300 as an upgrade.
  • 2 0
 @Mac1987: Not sure whether I was responding a reference that wasn't intended. I thought you were referring to the classic novel (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flatland) hence with different dimensions I didn't just mean going abroad but also that there is so much fun in cornering. Side to side instead of up and down. Yes big hills are fun but it seems like the biggest hills get the most boring climbs and widest descends. I really like the challenge of extracting speed from the terrain but when it is really steep (and me not hitting such terrain too often nor riding a bike tailored for such high speed rough) there is little reason to try and do that. Sure it is a chicken-and-egg thing but at the end of the day I'm best off spending my money on components that make sense for the riding I do most. And as we see here, even on similar terrain our preferences for components are so different! But sure I do like a bit more altitude than I'm getting here. I'm having most fun on the eroded terrain near rivers like you get from the Ardennes all the way down to the lower Alps. So usually that's how I select the trails on the map. Where are the rivers? That's usually where the good stuff is.
  • 1 0
 @Rich-Izinia: yeah, Shimano just did that
  • 1 0
 I agree with this but couldn't find a bike without a suspension fork. I will say though, that after taking out one of the springs in the cheap Suntour fork that was massively oversprung for my daughters size, they feel really good!
  • 1 0
 @Tone1313: suntour offers a pretty great upgrade program. For $200 you can get an air fork that will actually work and has a damper. You get to keep the original fork and you can probably sell that for $50 no problem to make the cost easier. It’s still $150 and the hassle of selling it but your daughter will have a much better time on the bike. It’s still a suntour fork but they perform about the same as a Rockshox 35 gold.
For anybody reading this with a Rockshox 35 silver (coil fork), you can buy a damper and air spring for around 150 to make it much better. Both are great options if you are looking for an entry level bike for yourself or your kid but are put off by the coil fork.
  • 1 0
 @olafthemoose: thanks for the info. My daughter is only 12 and pretty lightweight. With one of the two springs removed, the suspension action is pretty impressive for an el cheapo fork.
  • 133 19
 Good top 5 Seb , Your results may differ but my top 5:

1. Stop putting motors and batteries on everything
2. Stop rolling out so many tiers of products, do we really need deore, slx, xt, and XTR for example.
3. Enough with all the annoying and useless naming standards for said tiered products. select plus performance team ecoboost with CC+ kashima.
4. Enough with price gouging by restricting international sales. I get it you need regional distribution for shops but when my local distributor is charging more to the shop wholesale then I could get it full retail online from other countries that is bad news.
5. AutoPlay.
  • 45 3
 There is a section in Pinkbike BuySell that has everything you are looking for.

www.pinkbike.com/buysell/list/?category=99
  • 19 11
 I don't ride eBikes but having electronic shifting is pretty nice as you get older. Thumb joints and hands don't always work or feel as well as they did in your 20's, 30's or 40s.
  • 14 83
flag freeridefen FL (Mar 2, 2023 at 10:21) (Below Threshold)
 @jonemyers: Bro if you can't shift your damn speed you better stop riding MTB !!!
  • 25 5
 @freeridefen: bro some of us had to have hand surgery that left us with reduced strength in our shifting thumb. Axs is so much better for that.
  • 1 0
 @Swangarten: I think there are a bunch of designs I would happily own if I could be sure I could get replacement parts for, especially with shifting standards. I would love an older lighter hardtail to serve as a bike to fit in between my fs trail bike and my gravel bike for long non-technical but really chunky rides. They are cheap, but can I find parts without going down the rabbit hole of compatability issues?
  • 2 1
 I never thought much about #2 but it’s very true 4-5 component levels from the big players is just too many and brings up the cost.
  • 3 0
 @Swangarten: The tuk tuk in the vintage section is really catching my eye, might grab it soon...
  • 3 0
 It's almost like people don't want a free market economy.
  • 1 0
 @BenPea: Exactly. They are at the prices they are at because that's what we are willing to pay, only because we love mtb so much.
  • 2 1
 @jonemyers: twist shift, try it, your thumb and index finger will thank you.
  • 2 0
 @sanchofula: I used to use twist shifters and even have some 12 speed twist shifters. The problem for me is that twist shifters tend to limit the grips you can use and I don't like the OEM twist grips. So, for now I'm using electronic on the bikes I ride most often.
  • 3 2
 @Austink: he's from Bulgaria, they probably just execute anyone that has a physical disability
  • 1 0
 In relation to number 4.....Yeah, bike companies are all for international trade when it suits THEM but when it suits us they block it. Scum
  • 113 1
 Measurement. Yes I know the good old u.s.a is imperial.but the rest of us are not. Just make everything metric already.
  • 133 2
 Hey! I like my 29" rims on my 148mm wide hub. And my 170mm fork with its 1 1/8" tapered steerer.
  • 26 0
 Forgot about my 30.5mm internal width 29” rims
  • 10 0
 Surely it's a 29" wheel with a 622mm rim?
  • 26 0
 @dreamlink87: the steerer with a stem bolted on that measures 1 1/8” one way and 31.8mm the other.
  • 7 1
 @dreamlink87: to mount a 2.5" tire.....which isn't really 2.5" or the equivalent mm!
  • 4 0
 @dreamlink87: To be fair, I think 29" is just as much a name as it is a measurement. Like Boost.

The mixing of units drives me batty. Watching one of Evan's vids he kept switching from ounces to grams through the video.
  • 3 0
 @ljblk: how do I measure in Boosts?
  • 5 2
 @mnorris122: I've got bad news for you: What we call 31.8 is actually rounded from 31.75 mm, which is 1 1/4 inches. You can have all the metric you want but a lot of this imperial stuff is deeply baked in.
  • 3 0
 Multiplying numbers together to convert units is far less onerous than a lack of actual standards. Like I don't care what unit you pick so long as the actual measurement doesn't change from bike to bike or from year to year. All threaded bike hardware is metric, so not really much to complain about IMO.
  • 4 0
 @tkrug: 1 boost, 2 boost, 3 boosts..
  • 2 0
 @barp: I thought the 31.8 came from a couple of guys in South Africa who made a mistake with the first 31.8 bars. They were supposed to be 32mm but they came out a bit off.
  • 2 2
 @dreamlink87: @dreamlink87: Nope. 31.8mm is 1 1/4". So that metric bar measurement is actually due to old imperial standard sizings.
  • 7 1
 @gabriel-mission9: You didn't read the article then? Here's the quote: 'Later, Vos founded Funn, a component brand focused exclusively on freeride and DH. It was a pivotal time in the industry. “All the frames became oversized, the Kleins, the Proflexes, the Cannondales. A 25.4 handlebar just looked so puny.” So, Funn designed a bar with the very late-90s name Fatboy Slim. “The handlebar was supposed to be 32mm. It looked good on paper with the 32mm stanchion size emerging.” So, they set to work.'

'Eventually, they produced a bar that had the right shape, wall thickness and finish, and went into production, expecting to create the first 32mm bar. But that’s not how it went. “Our first 250 or 500 bars had all suffered some shrinkage, which was just a flaw in our manufacturing … but we hadn’t machined our stems yet.”
Thus, 31.8 was born.'
  • 3 0
 @L0rdTom: not a lot of room to talk sir......when you drive 4miles to put 30Liters of petrol in your vauxhall. Big Grin
  • 6 0
 @dreamlink87: Nope, I don't pay for beta...cos it's terrible.
And if the article is true, (neither it being true nor it being false would surprise me, there is some dire reporting in this industry that amounts to little more than hearsay and rumour) then its a hell of a coincidence that bars used to be 25.4 (1") and then went up to 31.8 (1 1/4") by mistake. I'm not even sure at what point this shrinkage would be said to have happened seeing as the tubing will almost certainly have been mechanically formed. If there is a grain of truth to the Funn story then I'd hazard a guess that the factory that was outsourced to create the bars figured they couldn't be arsed to retool, so just made it in the closest size they had tooling for. It happens a lot. Drawings are sent to tiawan, and the factory adjusts them slightly to suit their tooling without saying anything at all about doing so. Then what comes back is slightly different to what was asked for. I've heard excuses worse than "shrinkage" to cover for it.
Then again the quote you copied could be the gods honest truth... but as I say, it'd be one hell of a coincidence.
  • 2 0
 It's only bettered by old components like fox suspension products. Yep, most of the stuff is metric sized.... except for that one grub screw which is 1/8th. And the thread for the air valve which is 5/16x24 or 32 orb. Yep, its super! Don't get me started on 200 vs 203mm rotors either.

I just want to pump my suspension up in psi, measure my bar width and stem length in mils, my bike weight in pounds and my individual components in grams like a red blooded man!
  • 1 0
 @gabriel-mission9: My bar always shrinks a lot when I go for a swim in the cold ocean.
  • 2 5
 There are countries that use the metric system And there are countries that have been to the moon
  • 2 0
 @greenblur: countries that having been to the moon using the metric system*
  • 2 0
 @greenblur: NASA went metric in 2007.
  • 3 0
 @IMeasureStuff:
Something about this guy makes me want to trust him……

Even more after seeing the account wasn’t created yesterday.
  • 1 0
 @L0rdTom: we kicked out the Brits cause they wanted us to convert to metric.
  • 1 1
 @IMeasureStuff: after we were done with the moon. I looked up that date. There was a big plan to go back to the moon, so NASA decided to standardize on metric. We never made it back.... coincidence?!!!
  • 2 0
 I propose a compromise:
Move to metric, but only use powers of 1/2 to size thing.
No 30.5 mm internal width rim, you would get a 61/2 mm rim!
  • 1 0
 @greenblur: All that frantic flag waving appears to have given you a CTE.
  • 84 1
 Did the Advent Calendar results come out, yet? Smile
  • 6 1
 did it come out the year before?
  • 4 0
 Still deep in the closet. Wink
  • 12 0
 That’ll be real eases together with Epsteins clients list. Razz
  • 4 1
 @drjohn: Don't forget the Kennedy assassination docs
  • 2 8
flag jimmyricard (Mar 2, 2023 at 20:27) (Below Threshold)
 Can we just drop this stupidity
  • 1 6
flag jimmyricard (Mar 3, 2023 at 4:53) (Below Threshold)
 @TurboDonuts: Can we just drop this stupidity
  • 2 0
 Still Lent, gotta wait till Easter.
  • 57 0
 Get rid of model years, we don't need a new colour every year. Design for resilience and longevity, rather than hoping to sell us a new frame in 3 years time. Less proprietary parts, easy to maintain with simple workshop tools and affordable replacements. Oh, and gearboxes mf!
  • 8 0
 That's what YT do with their "Core" line. Right now their bikes are 2-5 years olds, they keep speccing them better with each iteration (in my opinion, though beefier tires are still not there) plus keep the prices adequate.
  • 11 0
 Model years should go away, spec generations should start being the consistent thing.
  • 2 0
 @Velosexualist: Kona has also recently stopped doing model years.
  • 48 2
 Stop spec’ing light tires on enduro bikes.
List frame weight w/o shock.
Spec longer dropper posts on medium size bikes.
Include max dropper insertion length on bike info page.
Spec 32T chainrings on mullet bikes.
Spec heavier spring weights for coil shocks on all sizes.
  • 9 3
 I'd be pretty ok with it if bikes just didn't come with seatposts (just like they don't come with pedals). Maybe some short-legged person can only fit a 150mm drop post so the brand manager is specing the bike for them. But 150 doesn't cut it for me, and immediately spending $250 for a proper length post on a brand new bike is silly.
  • 32 7
 I've drifted away from mainstream mtb in the past few years as I have been working predominantly in the road cycling side of mechanics and professional racing. It seems people are far more inclined to hold onto what they have for years. Whereas mtb seems you have to have the latest model of a bike that was only completely overhauled only or or two iterations agos. Looking at what's being released in the past few years on mtb is absolutely mind boggling. Road cycling has barely changed in years. The biggest changes are disc frames and integrated cockpits. Everything else has remained largely the same, only mild refinements. MTB seems to be churing out new standards annually Whether it be media or the manufacturers, it seems that no adequately priced mtb ride well without a complete overall of all the stock finishing kit, upgrading the dopper, maybe a new wheelset or brakes. I think people are being are definitely being sold far too that often exceeds their needs and abilities, more expensive, bigger and more technical doesn't always mean better. Argue me wrong
  • 6 34
flag KK11 (Mar 2, 2023 at 8:36) (Below Threshold)
 “I, I, I…..”
  • 8 4
 Dude, you just made the point that both are wrong, and it's all about balance. /Some/ roadies still argue about whether you are 'allowed' to have ice cubes in your drink when you are training seriously. They are still talking about whether disc brakes have any use case, never mind embracing disc brakes. Likewise, we all just love all the integrated headset cable guides, bio-pace rings, and ISIS bottom brackets on our mountainbikes.

Ergo, it's not about being more traditional, like roadies, nor do the mtb product designers always get it right.

It's, what a shocker, about the right balance. Because aren't we happy with disc brakes, droppers, and tube-less tires? And /some/ roadies (or gravellers) are rightly happy with us for that.
  • 16 9
 You beat up your bike pretty bad in mtb, after 5 years my 2018 bike is thrashed.

Road is more about fitness and tactics, MTB is more about skills and speed tolerance.

In road you keep up with your friends by training harder. In MTB, a different bike can really help you keep up. I love 27.5", but when I got a 29er with longer chainstays I could plow the chunk so much better and be more confident at speed.

I hate that it matters, but gear really matters in MTB, unless you're just totally riding by yourself dinking around
  • 8 0
 So... after reading your comment again... What can we do to protect the consumer from obviously superfluous innovation while still encouraging innovation? I'd love to, but not trivial...
  • 7 1
 While the consumerism of biking is a bit much, people buying new mountain bikes makes sense. The last ~8 years have had a large shift in bikes that pushed them forward. This progress is just now slowing down so I think we'll start to see people hold onto their bikes longer going forward, emtb might throw a wrench in that though and I think the companies are banking on it. But anyway, there has been a ton of change in mountain bikes during this time and they ride better than the old ones (I still have my old bikes to compare to). Road bikes were marginal changes, mountain bikes were leaps relatively speaking.
  • 2 0
 I choose to disagree and won't argue unless face to face. Road cycling changes every year. You mentioned disc and cockpit. Thru axle sizing, aero forks and stems, elastomers or flex junctions in frames, still trying to ditch the front der., and on and on. The only real difference in road and mtb. is telescopic forks, rear sus. linkages and the control of both.(probably coming soon). Even the double triangular road frame design is hardly recognizable these days.
  • 1 0
 @Dogl0rd:@Dogl0rd: foil surfing is an extreme example of this, you can literally "buy capability" - it's even newer than mountain biking and the tech is developing so fast that even 2-3 year old setups are MUCH harder to ride and much less capable than whats being made right now, so you can buy a new setup and immediately be better than you were on your old setup.
  • 3 0
 @KK11: looks like someone clearly doesn't like listening to opinions
  • 6 0
 Road bikes simply last longer because they don’t get the abuse. You’ve got a rigid frame and beyond swapping chains, tires, and brake pads there isn’t much to wear out.

On mtb forks and shocks wear out after a few seasons of heavy use, even with maintenance. Rims get beat up. Brake rotors get worn. Dropper posts wear out. If you ride mtb multiple times per week then almost every part will need to be replaced after 2-3 seasons.
  • 3 0
 Not going to argue you wrong because you’re right…. But also mtb have gotten a lot better really fast. I think it’s tapered off, but there for a while the updated model actually was very different than the previous in terms of geometry and also suspension performance (though suspension parts are upgradable)
  • 1 0
 @felimocl: That's just, like, your opinion, man.
  • 2 0
 @deez-nucks: mtbs have definitely got a lot better since about 2015. Major advances were made but what we have now are just continuous slight refinements and electronics popping uo everywhere, from motors to valves.

I'd be interested to see what major leap will be next
  • 1 0
 @two2pedal: who knows how to argue face to face anymore?

I gree to disagree slightly. Most models that come with elastomers,odd shaped fork steerers or something else quirky never seem to stick around long enough to become a standard. Some brands might continue the quirk with an individual model but it rarely catches on further afield.
Who knows, I'm happy thrashing a steel hardtail about the place
  • 3 0
 I would argue road bikes have finally emerged from their cocoon and become the gravel bikes they always wanted to be…
  • 1 2
 @freeridefen: Dude, the industry told me I need the new model with the .87 degree slacker head angle and 27.5 rear wheel. My current 29er with the 64 degree head angle is what's holding back my descending skills.....
  • 28 1
 Factory installed invsiframe
  • 3 0
 Seriously, at least offer it as an option. Surprised this isn't a thing with how common wraps have become, and how much of a pain in the ass they are to install yourself.
  • 1 0
 incoming rant about the same bike costing $200 more, in 3....2....
  • 23 0
 I've found Ibis and Transition do a great job of giving info on bearing specs and parts availability. Ibis in particular with their owners manual and instructions.
  • 21 0
 Ibis are my gold standard for documentation and communication to riders. Other brands give shops the same access to info, but hide it away in dealer manuals. Ibis trust the riders enough to give them all the info the should have, for them to use as they will.
  • 6 0
 @monkeynaut:
I second that, I bought a second hand Mojo HDR frame a while ago for peanuts and discovered you can download PDF manuals for all their bikes. Importantly they contain pretty much everything you need to know with clear diagrams.

I needed the shock brackets as well as they had been scuffed up by a gorilla with a pipe wrench. The UK distributer sent them out FOC!
  • 6 0
 @monkeynaut: have you read the online stuff Specialized has put out? The manuals for the Stumpjumper and Enduro are amazing. Available for download as a pdf.
  • 5 0
 I know Orange get a lot of stick here, but they also have comprehensive instructions fir bearing swaps and a fairly cheap tool available. I can do a full pivot bearing swap in 20 minutes.
  • 1 0
 Do they give you your bike's paint code so you can buy touch up from an auto paint store? Huge props it yes!!
  • 2 0
 @freeriderayward: Orange do not, as they are powder coated, rather than wet painted so it isn’t the same. However, you can send your frame back to the factory to be re-powder coated.
  • 3 0
 @freeriderayward: That's one thing I love about Vitus, not just a paint code but they include a vial of touch up paint with each bike. And they give you a diagram with the entire assembly for bearings, washers, bolts, etc with sizes and part numbers and all torque values. My other bike was a Marin and they basically wanted to keep everything secret and told you to just go to a shop for anything.
  • 1 0
 @freeriderayward:

They sell their own touch kits, saving you a trip to the auto parts store…
  • 1 0
 @somebody-else: if you can find them in the maze of a website
  • 1 2
 @smaptyjohnson: if you can’t find it you probably shouldn’t be working on your own bike
  • 1 0
 @monkeynaut: Totally agree. Not used a Norco setup guide as referenced in the article above, but am really, really impressed with the Ibis documentation that accompanies my Ripmo. The recommended settings are pretty-much bang-on for my 90kg all-rounder riding persona as well.
  • 21 0
 1. Fund trail development 2. Fund national or regional organisations for the promotion and development of the sport 3. Get together to fund and manage a structured racing calendar, with grassroots feeding into regional into national racing series.
  • 21 1
 All of this makes so much sense, and seems so simple... If only it were...

As a 6'5" rider, it seems crazy that 130mm head tubes end up on XXL bikes, I've got 55mm of spacers under the stem on some bikes, and at least 35mm on others. I have to buy frames so I can get a fork with an uncut steer tube.

Also need a note about Super Boost hub spacing, which would also help clean up crank/chainring chain line options.
  • 5 0
 Also 6'5 and I too buy forks separate with uncut steerers and still put 40-50mm rise bars on. Basically can never buy a used fork and brand new bikes have their bars so low to the ground I may as well be in aero testing TT bikes.
  • 9 0
 Also 6'5" and didn't realize we were a club. So many bikes with needlessly short head tubes! I've been happy with my XXL Megatower at 150mm of head tube (and they still gave me 30mm of spacers to play with!), but the plague of speccing 130mm on aggressive trail/enduro bikes is insanity. Zero, zero of us XXL riders slam that stem.
  • 1 0
 Never had that problem in de 00's. External cups ruled.
  • 7 0
 @dlstucki as someone who's been running 40mm of stack for at least the last 10 years, I did raise an eyebrow when I read the following from Fox:

WARNING: Never use more than 30 mm of height of steerer stem spacers under the steerer stem, as this condition can cause the steerer tube to fail prematurely, causing a loss of control resulting in SERIOUS INJURY OR DEATH.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • 5 0
 I think stack height is still catching up to long reach. You need higher stack with longer reach and lower stack with shorter reach. Reach has grown, especially on xl frames, but stack had not caught up.
  • 7 1
 @dthomp325: I would argue that most Enduro frames could benefit from higher stack across all sizes. Even shorter people would feel more confidence descending in a more upright position as well as being able to bunny hop easier.
  • 3 2
 It's a bit nuanced - height generally doesn't scale with stack. In general (there are always exceptions) the taller you are the longer your arms are. I'm 6-4, my partner is 5-9, standing next to each other her fingers are 1" different. I've never bought into the taller = higher stack as a given, there is a bit of a difference but it's in no way proportional to height as the original article seems to insinuate.
  • 2 0
 @ashmtb85: I raised the stack 100mm on my enduro bike. Rides way better.
  • 1 0
 @dthomp325: why? So you are taking a longer reach bike adding more stack which is creating less reach, right? The opposite is true for the shorter bikes, making them longer? Depending on the rotation of you bars a shorter bike with taller bars may get you where you need vs a longer bike with more stack since stack = shorter effective reach.
  • 1 0
 @krka73: Rockshox say the same. Annoying.

@seb-stott since we're not going to get 670mm stacks on most XLs anytime soon I'd be curious if you ever explored this? Is it just the company lawyers so they don't get sued by the family of a 400lb dude who snaps the tube and goes OTB?

I make bike purchase decisions based on stack but if I could feel better about putting on 50mm of spacers that'd simplify things quite a bit.
  • 1 0
 @jdejace: You can pair high rise bars with spacers to go higher.
  • 1 0
 @haen: I can to some extent. My hands usually hurt without carbon bars, highest I've found are 50mm. I have those, 35mm of spacers, +10mm stem and a 650mm stack to begin with - I don't want my bars any lower. But there are a lot of nice bikes with 630-640mm stack.
  • 1 0
 Don't use more than 30mm of spacers, it's hard on the steertube and headset. Get a high rise bar.
  • 1 0
 Maybe xxl bikes should be speced with higher rise stems?
Seems that adding spacers or longer head tube on slacker bikes just makes bikes need a shorter stem when going for a slightly steeper head angle & longer higher stem would make for better fit?
But also higher rise bars not being easy to get is something that would be easier for manufacturers to sort out
  • 1 0
 @jdejace: get some grips with good vibration dampening. I’m running wolftooth fat paws on a chromoly steel high rise bar (surly sunrise) and haven’t had any issues.
  • 1 0
 @haen: That is a reasonable work around. I have used different grips with stiff bars and they do help with pain, but I prefer skinny grips for control and particularly the Loam Lab grips with the counterpunch (more for the feel than the protection). Optimally would be able to get my preferred bar height without altering contact points. I've considered trying the Hammerhead stem as well.

I guess I'm just commiserating with Seb's sentiment in the article and wishing we didn't need any of these bandaids. I have 2 bikes with reasonably tall stacks including a custom Nicolai that I had made for that specific reason so I don't have an issue currently, but I wish we didn't have to jump through all these hoops. It would be nice to just be able to pick our favorite widely available 20-40mm bar + grips and get a good fit on any bike like riders of average height typically can.

Taller stacks on big bikes would be ideal, but being able to run more spacers would be a lesser compromise for me than having to dig up and trial a bunch of different bars and grips.

Buy dream bike, add OneUp bars and fave grips, done. Wouldn't that be nice?

A first world problem to be sure.
  • 1 0
 @gbeaks33: the reason steerers come cut on a new bike has very little to do with aesthetics....


more than about 30mm of spacers under the stem, creates a leverage point on the upper headset bearing assembly. this then transfers to the frame obviously and can lead to ovalization in AL and cracking in carbon. The bike brands do it to protect the bike, not make it look better.
  • 1 0
 @jdejace: Why taller stacks for bigger bikes?
  • 2 0
 @RadBartTaylor: Taller people need the stack/bars to be higher because they stand taller. Bar height is just as important and varied as seat height.

Look at the pic linked below. It highlights how absurdly short the stack is on larger bike frames. It is nearly identical yet the two riders are massively different in size. Look at how much higher the seating position is on the taller bike relative to the bars.

www.pinkbike.com/photo/24303763
  • 1 0
 Ditto. 6'3" with disproportionately long legs - difficult to find a frame with a tall enough head tube to allow for the 1/2" of saddle to bar drop I like with less than 30mm of spacers plus riser bars plus in some cases 6 degree stem rise
  • 1 0
 @haen: or it could be that the short rider’s stack is too high. I’m 6’2” and I run my bars about 1” lower than the my saddle at full extension on my enduro bike.

I’ve tried higher, but it’s difficult to keep enough weight on the front wheel, I have to aggressively lean forward, which is not comfortable to me. Idk how you ride a bike properly when the handlebars are much higher than the saddle like the short person in the pic.

IMo that’s one of the reasons we still need 27.5, to keep reasonable stack heights for shorter people.
  • 1 0
 @dthomp325: true! The bars could be too high on the shorter rider in that pic.

Outside of turning, I’m not trying to weight the front of the bike. The higher bars let me keep my weight on my feet and the bike can basically pivot around the bottom bracket. It is much easier to ride through rough terrain, especially braking bumps and rock gardens. The bike is much more forgiving as I have better bike/body separation.
  • 19 0
 Hey @seb-stott, how about an article where you ask a bunch of technical experts (engineers or whatnot) to choose the best of these purely on a technical and practical basis (no marketing or historical reasons)? "30.9 and 31.6 mm seat posts; straight-pull and J-bend spokes; 6-bolt and Centerlock brakes; XG, HG and Microspline freehubs, or 31.8 mm and 35 mm handlebars" And then we have a Pinker referendum for the final decision. (That last bit is a joke.)
  • 6 0
 A couple years ago at Sea Otter one of the guys from 9.8 told me he wished the industry standard for seatposts would be 34.9
  • 1 0
 This is a great idea.
  • 4 0
 @blazekelly: it should be, i really cant think of any reason why smaller seat tubes would be better.
  • 2 1
 @Torbo24: Weight, duh !
  • 4 0
 @laupe: Interestingly, making a structural tube larger in diameter can enable it to be lighter, because the stiffer geometry allows a wall thickness reduction that can reduce overall weight. The limit of that is the resistance of the tube to denting and also manufacturing challenges with thin wall tubes.
  • 1 0
 @cedric-eveleigh: Maybe that can be true, but the 34,9 droppers i have seen are very heavy
  • 3 1
 Marketing led engineering decisions is the most depressing thing about biking, but that's capitalism babeh and it applies to everything these days. Would love to see independent testing on bike products and more transparency with quantitative data instead of qualitative analysis.
  • 2 0
 @laupe: Would be interesting to see side by side weight numbers.
  • 1 0
 @cedric-eveleigh: i had an evil with a 34.9 and at the time the options were extremely limited. Maybe there are more now.
  • 19 4
 How about these....

Pay their workforce appropriate wages.
Catch up with the times in regards to benefits for their employees.
Start selling frameset options on e-bikes.
Fix Rampage. Do all the media BS on replays. Day of broadcast should be riding heavy so guys can get through their runs faster....
Work harder to reduce waste and/or reuse materials.
  • 11 0
 If people were complaining about prices before this sure isn't going to help.
  • 3 0
 @DylanH93: Things are going to have a massive adjustment at some point. Currently everyone in every industry is reaching as deep into your pockets as they can. Eventually they'll find the holes at the bottom and things will start to stabilize.

Luxury items will probably adjust last.
  • 1 0
 @onemanarmy: I'm no expert but I'd always heard the margins in the bike industry were never that good in the first place. As much as people want to talk about ridiculous prices, it's not like people in the industry were driving Ferraris.
  • 2 0
 @DylanH93: Depends on your definition of good margins. It's not like booze or apparel where your margins are 70% but it's also not like automotive suspension where margins are 15-25%

Margins range depending on the parts... example.... pedals, handle bars, etc... higher margin than say a low end fork....
  • 1 0
 @onemanarmy: ah interesting. I'm not saying either way is right here, it's tough. I love supporting things made in the US but they also cost a lot more. Pros and cons. At least we have some options for both. You want to keep the sport affordable but its true, pay is low and it's hard to really make a successful career out of it. You definitely got to have a passion for taking that lower pay.
  • 12 0
 Make bikes actually pleasurable to work on. get the damn car engineers away from designing bikes and get people who actually fix the things help in design. The number of bikes with impose cable routing or brake bolts you can barely reach due to the linkage design is comical
  • 4 0
 this. I make buying decisions based on this.
  • 15 3
 How about spec'ing appropriate tires. Very few brands spec burly enough tires on their their long travel bikes. I also have a beef with shock and brake spec on most bikes, but that's more a personal opinion.
  • 10 0
 That's a reaction to most people moaning about weight. Tires are the easiest way to save.
  • 5 3
 Enduro bikes coming with single ply tires should be a crime. Hell they should come stock with inserts too.
  • 11 3
 I have a solution for you.... stop buying complete builds. Buy a frame. Build it yourself. That way you get exactly what you want. People that have enough awareness to know exactly what they want shouldn't be buying full bikes. THey're NEVER going to be exactly what you want.
  • 6 0
 @onemanarmy: Complete bikes with upgrades to fix spec issues are almost always cheaper than full custom.

I have noticed that some top spec Specialized and Santa Cruz bikes have an MSRP higher than the sum of their parts.
  • 2 1
 @zacjob: Is it really cheaper if you're pulling half the bike off, selling the parts at a discount and then buying new parts to replace those parts?

They only way it makes sense is if you're willing to wear parts out and replace them as you go... if you're one of those that has to replace all the parts right away... it's a waste.

If all you're doing is swapping grips and tires then fine....
  • 3 0
 @onemanarmy: It's probably cheaper to buy a complete bike and change the tires than it is to build a bike yourself. Regardless, neither of those options should have to be a solution to getting mission-appropriate tires which is why it fits well into a "what can be done better" topic. If it is an enduro bike, it should come with enduro-grade tires.
  • 2 0
 @gullywasher: and it also should be used appropriately. Most of those bikes are ridden like XC bikes, but slower.
  • 3 0
 @gullywasher: so yes, light casing tires are appropriate in most cases.
  • 1 0
 @gullywasher: it may be cheaper, but it's also wasteful. I don't like buying a bike only to swap out the cockpit, tires, and maybe even wheels and then those old ones were wasted.

I'm fortunate that i can be picky though
  • 1 0
 @mtb-thetown: LOL. Truth. I still have a brand new wheel set sitting in my garage. Talking zero miles. No idea WTF I'm gonna do with them. Nobody wants that isht....
  • 1 0
 @Muckal: Lol, truth! But that's a rider problem. Those same riders are going to put enduro tires on their enduro bike anyway because that's what Mike Kazimer told them to do. So might as well equip the bike with them stock.
  • 2 0
 @mtb-thetown: I hear ya. I'll often have a collection of take-off parts from one or two complete bikes. That's when I head to the buy-sell, get a frame, build up a frankenbike, and sell it.
  • 1 0
 @gullywasher: that's actually a pretty great way to get parts back out and in use.
  • 13 3
 1). Make bikes more affordable with good specs.
2). More World Cup races NOT in Europe
3). All major industry changes must first pass a Pinkbike poll.
4). No thin casings spec’ed on enduro bikes
5). Bring 27.5 back.

Rant complete. Thank you comment section.
  • 8 0
 A great top 5 there. I particularly agree with the first point. Make it as easy as possible to set the bike up to perform as well as possible. It should be a given

One I would like to add is bring back demo’s. If Im going to spend several grand on a new bike at least have the decency to let me try before I buy. As many of the reviewers comment in their articles there is only so much you can learn from a geometry chart and reading how other people found it.
  • 3 0
 100% right about the demos. Honestly, I wasn't able to ride the last 4 bikes i've bought and they all ended up being different than I anticipated. It would be interesting to see what I would choose if I was able to ride the bikes ahead of time and then make a decision.
  • 1 0
 @WordBikes: I bought two bikes between 2020 and 2021 that I had no opportunity to demo. All I had to go on were reviews and geo charts. The first bike was great and the other a $6500 disappointment. I'll only buy bikes I've demoed going forward. That said, I've had no issues demoing bikes lately.
  • 1 0
 @gullywasher: I just buy whatever Transition fits the category I'm looking for haha. But seriously, all three of my current bikes are Transitions that I bought just a frame and never test rode, but since I've ridden many of their other bikes I have a pretty good sense of what I'm getting and that I will like it.
  • 2 0
 @mtb-thetown: Damn, I'm just not brand loyal enough to have a sense of anything really. It would probably make my life a lot easier if I were! For sure, the last nine bikes I've owned have all been from different brands. I love the idea of trying new things, but it admittedly doesn't always work out.

The two bikes I'm eyeing right now are brands I've never owned either.
  • 8 0
 Use less than 17 different bolt sizes and 6 different bolt standards on the same bike. Yes, SRAM, looking at you kid, one day it's Torx on your RD, another day it's hex, I mean siriusly?

Special mention to Thomson for using 2.5mm hex on your stems. Nice try, kid, no wonder you get 0.0003% OE specs.

I now have to wheel my entire Snap On Tools toolbox with me to make sure I have everything covered.
  • 8 1
 Wow a picture of hubs, a mention of boost 148, and talking about every unnecessary standard under the sun except Supa Boost. It's been 5 years since Pivot took that leap of faith and they just released a bike with boost 148. The current DH world champ won on a boost 148 bike. Fetch is not happening here.
  • 7 0
 Top motocross racers that are Tall generally don’t run Higher bars. The thinking is that if you are taller and therefore have longer arms and torso it is actually easier for you to reach the bars and since raising the handlebars is detrimental to handling on a moto it’s better to lower and or offset the foot pegs back (10mm or so) in order to enlarge the rider triangle (or in mtb speak Reach). Anyhoo I’m not sure how this translates to Mtb’s but imo moto is further evolved so it should be taken into consideration.
  • 3 0
 Not sure which one is more evolved. Moto guys have no option but to run "one size fits all" bikes. I also ran pretty low handlebars with small bicycles of the past. Now that i can actually ride XL bikes that fit, i gradually raised my cockpit a fair bit. When you are crimped on a bike anyway, a low handlebar feel more natural. When you can stretch out, you tend to stand taller and need your controls positioned accordingly.
  • 6 0
 Thank you for pointing out the short steerer tube problem. Even with 35mm rise bars, I typically can't get my bars high enough because the steerer is cut to only allow 10-15mm of spacers (and every bike manufacturer seems to make their headtubes as short as possible). I've gotten to the point where I'll just buy a new fork while I'm waiting for a new bike to arrive. It would also be nice to see manufacturers spec'ing taller rise bars on their larger frame sizes when they decide to go with a super short headtube.
  • 6 0
 One of the best things they can do, which is finally starting to take hold with major brands, is to lean in on taking advantage of manufacturing at scale and stop doing model years. Molds, fixtures, safety testing and certifications, and worker training are all huge expenses and few people will meaningfully benefit from another 2mm of BB drop or a half degree slacker HA just to debut a new frame. You can definitely keep updating the highest end of things to use early adopters as guinea pigs for what will trickle down, but the majority of your line can remain more static with little impact. The ski and snowboard industry are experts at this and run 3-5 year product cycles that work very well for the majority of users. Slap a different graphic and color on it, update the spec as needed, and you've got a good chunk of time to go focus on the next, actually measurable change. Hell, Burton ran the same baseplates on their bindings for like a decade and just kept popping on different straps and highbacks as needed. That's a lot of money saved on their end.
  • 2 0
 Salsa is doing this with some of their bikes. I think it makes a lot of sense.
  • 6 0
 Steer tubes cut to the shortest possible length is one of the main reasons I don’t like to buy complete bikes. I’ve always preferred my handlebars higher than what they come set at from the factory. It’s so easy to put some spacers under the stem and let the customer decide. It’s ridiculous that they dictate handle bar height for everyone because it looks better without spacers under the stem.
  • 7 1
 As a product management professional, i must say some of the biggest failures of the bike industry come from a lack of innovation relating to emerging markets. Yes yes e-bikes i get it... but the problem is the industry chases shiny objects to the point where they only build what everyone else is building... how many new mullet offerings did we see this year? and 29'r enduros before that... everyone with the exact same offering... where are all the jib-duro offerings? its where the market is going.... bring back the 27.5 (and maybe even the 26")
  • 1 1
 You're ignoring the risk of going against industry norms and customer expectations. It's easy for small brands to do this as they have to differentiate but for bigger brands, this is a huge risk where you have to tie up a lot of money in making molds and ordering in large quantities. They are invested in the status quo or making incremental changes as they have a lot on the line.
  • 6 0
 100% agree on suspension setup guidance! I've spent way too much time learning about suspension setup and should get my Dr. title soon - still I feel like there is much room for unlocking the full potential of my bike. It would be awesome to spend more time riding and enjoying the bike instead of testing and changing to find the right settings.

Looking at DH WC coverage suspension setup seems to be one of the biggest challenges even for very experienced riders and pro mechanics working on it. All available settings that have complex interactions with each other might be right for pros but not for most consumers. I would much prefer simpler solutions that I can easily set up to reach 90% of its potential instead of super high-end products where I reach only 60%.
  • 5 0
 I’d love to see more adjustability on frames. I’d love to see chainstay adjustment, built in reach adjustment or running EC lower headset cups so reach adjust headsets only change reach, progression adjustment and mullet compatibility as the standard for all bikes so that the customer can tailor their bike to their needs, and there is a little more overlap between sizes. I’d also like to see greater seatpost insertion depths on full suspension bikes. If I’m tall enough to theoretically fit a 240mm dropper on a bike, I want to be able to slam it into the frame regardless if I’m riding an XS or a XXL
  • 7 0
 Could tell a tall person wrote this article…. The stem spacer thing is soooo frustrating along with the lack of stack in XL+ bikes.
  • 2 0
 I blame Sam Hill for starting the 'low front' trend in 2007.
  • 2 0
 @hubertje-ryu: But I feel like low bars kind-of helped when we were all on short bikes then and for the next five years? They just stretched you out a bit and slowed the steering a touch maybe?
  • 6 0
 Yes stop circumcising the steering tube! I bought an XL and it was cut to the same length as a medium. It has been a pain trying to find stems and handle bar rises. Maybe cut to the size of the bike!!
  • 7 0
 I can't wait for tomm's installment of "five things the bike industry MEDIA can do better"...
  • 5 0
 I have been personally victimized by a chopped steer tube. Shouldn’t need to swap forks to get the right bar height, but that’s what I did and it made a very noticeable difference
  • 10 2
 Why do my maxxis 27.5 x 2.4 cost more than my wrx 225/45 17 Tires?
  • 2 2
 Yeah tires are nuts.... but that's pretty simple... numbers. How many of those tires do you think they sell?

And you gotta get some bigger tires on that thing. I run 235/245 on my wagon and 255 on my sedan.
  • 5 1
 I think you're wrong about the subject of sag..you should not be focused on any psi #..but instead get to your preferred sag pressure be damned..say 20%.. whatever pressure it took to get there that's your pressure reading..and every fork and shock always seems to take more than what's suggested..and that's why most people you see are running to soft suspension
  • 2 0
 I've never had the chart match what I ended up with to achieve sag, always low.
  • 4 0
 The pseudo innovations annoy me. Boost hubs, for example, why didn't they take the 150mm installation standard and change the geometry? That way, people could have continued to use their old hubs, even if the wheel might not have the "perfect" geometry. Especially when the industry is trying to be sustainable, this makes no sense. Just like presenting a revised model every 2 years that has 2mm more reacher. That is not sustainable. On the other hand, they celebrate themselves for doing without plastic packaging, but at the same time the introduction of a new standard means that you can no longer ride your used premium parts. When I started riding mtb, chris king hubs were my dream. They will outlast any frame and with a new rim every few years you are ready for the future. The constant change of standards and the short life of model series has led me to buy used parts or cheap parts. I usually can't use premium parts after a few years because they don't fit into a new frame.
  • 2 0
 agreed, same with the 20mm front hub, have a beautiful 20mm hadley that just sits now.
the 86'd 150mm rear hub is baffling. 148mm such a wank. whose fault is the 148mm hub?????
  • 8 1
 Hey don’t give them anymore ideas to jack up the cost of entry!
  • 6 0
 Transferable warranty for subsequent owners. If some companies can do it (Nicolai, Specialized, Pole) then they all can
  • 3 0
 Expectations have changed for sure. We used to peddle our 40lb freeride bikes everywhere and just dealt with it, but as stuff got lighter and slacker we've come to expect more and more, which means we the consumer have become high- maintenance.
  • 4 0
 Great point, Preach.
We are all too entitled these days. Incremental advancements over many years has made the 26" wheel almost unridable to me now.
Just takes one ride on a rigid bike to make us really appreciate how good suspension bikes have gotten.
  • 3 0
 More clothing options for taller guys. We don't need to go crazy. Pants and shorts should come in short and long versions. Short guys don't want to wear capri and taller guys don't want to wear 70s basketball shorts. One single brand offering tall options in their winter jacket would be nice. That not a single does brand does this represents a chance to own everything hey 7mesh, TLD, Fox, Leatt, someoneeeeeeee.
  • 2 0
 There's such an untapped market here. Especially with pants. Not a single brand I'm aware of makes a pair of riding pants that fit tall people (I'm talking Ben Cathro tall).
  • 1 0
 @aaron-415: just a single option would be nice.
  • 3 0
 @aaron-415:
@alexsin:

Check out lululemon ABC Warpstreme 37” pants
Best I’ve ever found for riding and being tall
  • 1 0
 @aaron-415: mostly because it isnt really that big of an untapped market. Folks over 6'4" are already in the 95th percentile in height so making pants for them is only 5% of the market. Ben at 6'7" is at 99.7%. So 0.3% of the market is what you would get for making pants that fit him.
  • 1 0
 @mtmc99: I'm curious what the market is for mtb specific pants with a 38"/40" waist and 31" inseam.
  • 2 0
 @mtmc99: 6'4" is actually 99.5th percentile in the US. Same height as me. It is indeed a very tiny market.
  • 3 0
 @WheelNut: I would say it's a very big market
  • 1 0
 @stormracing: Awesome thanks!
  • 1 0
 Apparently Dharco just released these: dharco.com/collections/cathro-extensions-mens. I've got a pair on order!
  • 3 0
 I strongly agree proportional fit for shorter / taller riders needs to improve. [And stack height is crucial]

I would add to your list the effective STA is often not adequately addressed across size extremes.
The further the actual STA is from the effective STA, the harder it becomes to design something that works for everyone... but in particular riders with very long legs.

> Stop putting cheap [rear] hubs on high-end bikes. No one deserves DT370 (or worse) on a $7k+ bike.

> Provide necessary adaptors (this goes esp. for frame only)... if you design a frame that most riders will use a 180mm or 200mm rotor with, don't sell it with a 160mm post mount and no adaptor.
  • 4 1
 Centre lock is far better than. 6 bolt, but seems no one wants to give up their 6 bolt hubs so bother remain. While the HG driver had its issues and did we really need XD? While XD might have advantages it makes cassettes expensive
  • 2 0
 It's a little more difficult to carry a tool to install/remove a Center Lock rotor. having a 6 bolt brake rotor saved my bacon (saved me from walking out) when I folded the rotor at a 90 degree angle on a rock during a techy maneuver. It's easy to carry a t25 tool, so I removed the rotor and rode out several miles.
  • 1 0
 With XD you can go down to a 9T smallest cog. I think that's a good enough reason.
  • 2 0
 Maybe this was touched on in all the comments above and below, but the MTB industry needs to learn from the simplicity from the BMX industry. By that, more standardized fittings. I can build up a BMX bike with six tools or less as a result. When swapping a tire on the kids MTB I use half of my toolbox. Classic example, do we really need hundreds of different derailleur hangers? Or could we not get by with a dozen versions that cover all MTB's? That stuff is what drives a lot of us crazy, and with recent supply chain constraints, keeps bikes in garages and not on the trails.
  • 5 0
 Couldn’t agree more on the frame bearings. Almost always a nightmare job.
  • 5 0
 It's the curved surfaces that kill me. A job that should take one minute with the correct extractor turns into a big clusterfuck of random bodges and swear words. A blind puller doesn't always work or not appropriate at times too. Sigh....
  • 3 0
 My older GT force used headset bearings which you just had to adjust/install like a headset. It was so easy, I didn't realize how good I had it until I had to replace it with a bike that uses the more common pressed in bearings
  • 2 0
 Ohlins has a decent printed suspension guide but what sets them apart is their customer service. I’ve had 15+ min phone calls and long email threads with their techs while I’ve been dialing in my suspension. +1 for their suspension and the techs who have helped me out.
  • 2 0
 Could not agree on bearing replacement. I recently replaced two bearings on my 2020 Reign. Happy that I did not buy dedicated extraction tool because as suggested in the article I faced curved surfaces on around the bearing which would made it unstable to apply force. Additionally the other side of the swingarm has welds in the area where the tool has to be placed. So in the end a 30 minutes job ended as 5 hours job and mixture of f bombs, funny tools that you would never think would be used to extract/ press a bearing.
  • 2 0
 *Could not agree more
  • 2 3
 @renio: first you couldn't agree now you couldn't agree more make your mind up
  • 3 1
 Bad brakes should NEVER be produced, let alone be fitted to a bike. Buying new levers with another letter on them shouldn't be necessary on a 8K bike. Yes, I'm looking at you, SRAM.

And my HT commuter should stop when I want, at least lock its wheels, without service every 2 months, even if it cost just EUR 1500 back in '18. Also looking at you, Shimano.

Isn't there some sort of testing or spec that brakes need to live up to?
  • 2 1
 Yeah, SRAM should just make swinglink standard on everything guide and above. the cost of R vs RS is tiny, and the difference is pretty big.
  • 2 0
 @seb-stott I couldn't agree more on stack no scaling proportionatley. I know you used to ride a 161 in size P4. I have one and added 100+mm on stack to my bike via bars and spacers. The bike rides exponentially better as I have more weight on my feet and can use my arms to just steer. PLEASE consider doing a test on stack height.

Pics
www.pinkbike.com/photo/24303729
www.pinkbike.com/photo/24303728

Bonus pic: Look at how little the stack height changes between frame sizes and rider sizes.
www.pinkbike.com/photo/24303763
  • 2 0
 The comments about stem spacers is spot on. Friends and I always say how can bikes get any better than they are now. Product managers slamming the stems for looks is understandable but ultimately it would be cool is they can design the frame so you can have 25-35MM of spacers below the stem and it still have the nice looks of a slammed stem. Don't ask me how they would go about that. I'd say thats my biggest gripe with most bikes, I end up needing to jack the stem to get comfortable and then it has that look like moir's bike without the number plate blocking it. Great article.
  • 2 0
 They should be more honest about leverage ratios and how there is no "one size fits all". If you are a very large company that makes bikes with high leverage ratios you should let the heavier customers know it may not be the best fit or do what RAAW does and make 2 different links that provide the same travel.
  • 2 0
 @sebstott genuine question re the sizing: Do you know if average body geometry changes proportionally with height? I wonder if, for example, on average, taller people have a higher ratio of leg to torso length.

If that was the case, it might be that the scaling of the ratios of the sizes of various bike elements is actually non linear. That might explain why proportional scaling of eg chainstays doesn’t work as imagined?
  • 2 0
 "There is no need for......straight-pull and J-bend spokes, 6-bolt and Centerlock" rotors etc.

Yes there is; to everyone who has a box full of hubs they maintain, service and re-use.
It is not about getting rid of one or the other if both serve a measurable purpose in the re-use of components, sorry, Stick, wrong end.

What there is no need for (for the vast majority of riders who are not racers) is yet more over-priced, ever decreasing marginal gains masquerading as the next great "game-changer" that the latest SNS influencers diligently puke-out of their compromised corporate sponsored mouths.

Rant over, now, where's my box of Whitworth bolts got to.
  • 2 0
 Yea. And more. But in perspective...: Bike makers just want your money. They make what you buy. Period. So what we see here is probably just a result of riders buying stuff more related to keeping up with the bling-bros, than what actually works best for them. Yea yea yea - the engineers will tell you - with a high degree of confidence - why the newest is SOOOOOO much better. And maybe it is. But keep in mind that engineers are much like doctors. The parable comes in the form of a question. What do you call a person who passes the medical exams by one point?
  • 2 0
 I searched the comments before posting this, but the difference in seat tube diameters is the result of different tube sizes of raw material. A molded carbon frame could be a standardized size across the board, but there are still tube aluminum and steel bikes out there where you see the smaller size seat tubes.

There is no way boost made wheels stronger (than 150x20), there's no way metric made shocks more reliable. I feel like I'm running around with a pair of they live glasses
  • 2 0
 I think metric shocks just helped to standardize sizes for the shock makers. They also claim more bushing overlap.
  • 2 0
 Standards. The other side of that are the tiny amount of us who willingly ride old bikes. I have a modernized 05 Cannondale Prophet and finding a half decent external dropper for a 27.2 post diameter was a bitch. The 1x11 worked fine despite the weird chain line. I went with a mod and did a 27.5 conversion. Finding a 27.5 x 135mm wheelset with rims wider than my pinky was impossible. I'm too poor to custom build atm... But! It's a single pivot so bearing swaps are stupid easy!
  • 2 0
 STANDARD TOOL COMPATIBILITY

All is well until you get a new stem or lockon grips using 2 instead of 2.5 instead of 3 and boom- your mutitool is now defunct.

As a bikepacker this is my biggest pet peeve!

Sure a couple extra tools doesn't equal that much weight, but it is just more clutter and so frustrating when you are trying to fix something in the middle of bad weather or something. And if you are with multiple people? Everyone is on their own since everyone's parts are arbitrarily using different tool standards.

And how am I supposed to buy the "right" multitool? Do I need to bring all my bikes into my LBS and test drive every little bolt? Because so many times a mutitool will end up missing one thing I need for that one bike.
  • 2 0
 "perhaps smaller riders are riding chainstay lengths that are too long?"

Go and wash your mouth out with soap young man.

Good list apart from this comment though.

The most-frustrating non-standardised component for me is DM chainrings. WTF does every brand need to invent it's own sodding pattern?
  • 2 0
 "so perhaps smaller riders are riding chainstay lengths that are too long?" Gonna be hard to make them shorter with 29" wheels... oh wait, it's almost like wheel size should be part of that proportioning and 29" wheels should have never been pushed on bikes for 5ft riders.
  • 2 0
 There are so many cheap, good bikes out there. The issue is that y'all are suckers who must have the latest and the greatest and that think that 1 degree head angle to either side makes a difference. Or that you "need" a certain type of jersey to look cool. MTB is only as expensive as you make it.
  • 2 0
 Kind of late to the party here but for the love of god ditch the torx bolts on 6 bolt rotors and stick with a hex head! Luckily I’ve purchased enough cleats over the years that I have plenty of these short hex bolts to use on 6 bolt rotors instead of those PIA torx bolts that fall out of the tool easily and strip out then you have to break out the power tools.
  • 2 0
 Higher rise bars are required, rather than more spacers under the stem. Having changed this a lot over the past year I have found there is a limit to spacers before leaning the bike feels awkward, and the rider cannot weight the front wheel as much when leaning the bike…think of it like leaning a tall stick over to one side, compared to a shorter stick. Just my thoughts on it any way…industry need to make a 55-60mm rise carbon bar for taller riders, to avoid over use of stem spacers.
  • 16 14
 Maybe everything is made a certain way for a reason... try swapping motorcycle or car parts between bikes/cars. We actually have it really easy with bikes and if you complain about "too many standards", you're just lazy.
  • 2 1
 Cars and moto are different because of the production volume. And cars and motos are not made equal too, nothing worse than a car modrl with hardly available and pricey parts. Low volume products should be serviceable and should have less specific parts.
  • 2 1
 @lkubica: What are the volumes that motorbikes are built in anyways? No idea about the rest of the world, but in Canada there are way more bicycles than motorbikes.
  • 3 0
 @WheelNut: Something like a motorcycle can be sold in many countries with minimal modifications. Just because you do not see a lot of them around you does not mean that there are not a ton in other countries around the world. I hardly ever see a Honda Super Cub but Honda has built over 87 million of them in over 160 different countries.
  • 2 0
 @WheelNut: Apparently larger, cause companies can make them out of proprietary parts and still sell them cheaper than mtbs...
  • 1 0
 It's certainly better than cars. I used to love working on cars now I enjoy bikes so much better and kinda dislike working on cars. That said, mtb brands could and should do better.
  • 1 0
 @DylanH93: Same here. I have always had multiple project cars but have kind of just switched to bikes. Cheaper in the long run. That being said, there is a TON of crossover with cars. There are only a few manufacturers for basics like brakes, transmissions, axle components and all of the OEMs, big and small, buy off the shelf from the likes of Bosch, Hella, ZF, etc... If you have a factory part number, and some effort, you can find parts crossovers, especially if it is under a big company. I mostly drive VWs. Some of their stuff is also used in Porsches (which makes sense since they are under the VAG umbrella). The VW boxed part is cheaper than the Porsche boxed part. Same piece but with decidedly less smug attached to it.
  • 2 0
 @jmhills: I looked up some stats on "the google." So, ultra reliable scientific analysis for sure, but anyway. Looks like average yearly motorcycle sales in North America were around 500,000 units per year. Compare that to bicycle sales of about 15 to 20 million units per year. One page claims about 1/4 of those are MTBs. Some amount of those are proper high performance bikes. I didn't see any numbers there in my cursory search, but its probably about 1/5th. That'd be about 1 million units in at the high end.

Yes Honda sells lots of low cost motorcycles and has sold lots of things like Super Cubs, but those go to Asia. People in north america don't really ride motorcycles in a normalized daily way- its just not part of our culture.

I don't really think the whole 'motorcycles sell in huge volume' argument really holds water. I think the bicycle industry is actually bigger (at least in the western world, which is really what those of us on PB care about). I think generally motorcycles are built with extreme low cost parts because weight doesn't matter nearly as much as it does on a pedal powered machine. The engines on most lower cost motorcycles are quite primitive and only one or two cylinders, so they aren't all that complex. A fully carbon motor cycle with high end adjustable suspension and carbon wheels would cost an astronomical amount of money. I think if you match up the materials and processes used between a motor bike and a bicycle you'd see that the bike is significantly lower cost.
  • 1 0
 @WheelNut: IT's nice that you understand that. I feel that people always gloss over this fact every time the topic is brought up.
  • 3 0
 Manufacturers should post geometry and specs the same way and always include:
Max dropper insertion depth
Weight of frame in each size - minus shock
  • 3 0
 Max dropper insertion depth, I fully agree! At the least Pinkbike could use a standard seatpost and include the specs in their reviews. It's free to do so.
  • 3 2
 Stop with this marginal new and improved BS.
If you honestly make a great part it does not need improvement. If you "improve it" a year later now parts are probably incompatible.
Was last years ______ crap?
Must be If it needed changing .
Maybe if a part is exelent is does not need change .
One example that completely goes against the trend of new a d improved:
Saint cranks . Professional DH racers prefer them . Must have been a decade ago they were last "improved " still using same standards. Look at this year's DH pros . They prefer those Saint cranks .
Innovation is awesome.
New and improved is an annoying joke .
  • 2 0
 I totally agree with headset spacers. I buy a frame and build it up these days because as I get older I seem to want to my bars to be higher than any stock oem bike. I have at least an inch of spacers under every stem.
  • 1 0
 Great opinion piece! Hard to argue with that list, although I'm sure someone will find a way to tell you that you're wrong!
The suspension part is 100%. I've ridden so may friends bikes where the suspension is actually way too stiff or over damped .. like "run a bike park lap and use 60% of the travel" - stiff. They think it makes the bike more efficient, are just aren't the tinkering type, or think that bottoming out should be avoided at all costs.
  • 2 1
 "It should make recommendations for fork and shock pressures (not sag)"

Actual pressures are way more inaccurate than sag, because people are different shapes and riding positions are different for everyone. Yes, sag takes a bit more effort than just reading a number off a chart, but it takes into account so much more than just height and weight. Some people carry more weight up top, so a fork pressure just based on weight is going to have them soft up front, and vice verse Some have much longer legs and much higher saddles and thus (especially with slack actual seat tube angle) more rearward weight bias, meaning shock pressure based on weight is going to be soft and the fork is going to be hard, and vice versa.
  • 1 0
 @seb stott: would be cool to see riders of different heights try different brands bikes in their appropriate size and see what their preferences were for geo and if they tend to converge on a single front/rear center ratio across all heights.
  • 1 0
 Except for the tube diameters, each of the mentioned extraneous "standards" actually have technical (and financial) trade-offs between them. The spoke and brake differences can allow weight and stiffness tradeoffs, or weight and ease-of-maintenance trade-offs, or just plain cost of manufacturing vs technically better. Yeah, lots of people don't give a shit about weight, but also lots do care, and lots care about ease of maintenance. Shit even one of these "do betters" is about maintenance.
  • 1 0
 Rockshox and fox clearly know that their negative air chamber is too short but they are not seem to increase their length. Everytime they release their new product they just do it a little better that everyone can do, and this is always the easiest way to make their new product better than the previous ones
  • 2 1
 Great list, I completely agree. My Norco was so easy to get to a good starting point. The recommended suspension and tyre pressures were really close to being perfect for me and it massively sped up the setup process.
I'd add to the list though. Sensible spec. I don't want an Xt derailleur, cranks and brakes when the deore stuff performs very nearly as well. Save budget on all the other parts and put it into the forks, shock and tyres. So many bikes come with tyres that aren't fit for the kind of use that the rest of the bike was designed for. With decent suspension already fitted all I have to worry about is possibly upgrading some of the wearing components when the originals are worn out, but generally I don't see the need for anything more expensive than SLX these days. And I actually prefer shimanos cheaper brakes - the MT420 is 4 pot, doesn't have servowave (so no wandering bite point) and the lever clamps never get in the way of where I want the shifter and dropper remote to go.
This is basically what privateer have done, and it's one of the main reasons I bought a 161 a couple of years ago.
  • 3 2
 a lot of common sense here, and also a good dose of "huh?"

For someone that seems to know a lot about bikes, and I am not discounting his knowledge at all, he should really know better than "what's the point of having 31.8 AND 35mm bars, and what's up with Straight pull spokes???"

JFC
  • 2 1
 I used to buy a brand new frame once a year. One year I bought 3. With the current prices, I won’t support this trend. I’ve built up stable and happy with it. I no longer look for PB announcements for new releases. The current prices are ridiculous, especially for what you get in terms of components. No value at all.
  • 1 0
 Check out Spot Bikes. They have manuals for each bike that cover everything - suspension setup how-to, a full teardown and reassembly guide with step-by-step drawings and instructions, and full bearing replacement info.

spotbikes.com/pages/documentation
  • 1 0
 Should seat tube angles be proportional so size too? I'm tall & back in the day I always ran a layback seatpost with the saddle all the way back. Now that virtually all droppers have zero layback, and now with steep seatposts it is getting weird/too much weight on hands. Maybe steep seatposts works well for medium sized folks, but it a similar issue to head tubes not being long enough. I run a 17degrees rise one. Or saddles that can go back more?
  • 1 0
 "It should make recommendations for fork and shock pressures (not sag)."

What? Surely you jest! I suggested just this in a thread not too long back and got roasted. Bike companies know exactly what psi equates to what sag for their bikes. Should be easy info to provide.
  • 3 0
 Kona get bonus points for having a little chart printed on the seat tube, with bearing sizes, seat tube & bb diameter all on there
  • 1 0
 Im with you an all but j bend and straight pull spokes... that is a very soft and particular item for the pickiest of picky, but gotta give it to the sport.. pickyness has some sort of gilty pleasure in it when it comes to setting up your very expensive bike....
  • 1 0
 I try to negate this kinda nonsense by going 2nd hand, choose a frame to my liking, sometimes even getting
a new powder coat if the frame is worthy, then piece by piece
build it up, choosing each component on its merits, era, sizing standard, colour etc and at a price that suits,
build it in instalments and watch it grow, at the end its exactly how I want it to be, then I keep it for many years : )
  • 1 0
 There needs to be a good balance between having Industry Standards and Innovation.

Replacement parts need to be standardised to give Economy of Scale and reduce prices, but brands need to keep pushing for improvement on new models with new designs to ensure the industry remains at the cutting edge and relevant.

To me the frames and suspension are exponentially better designed, but the bearings are not suitable for the terrain (rain & mud).
Maybe Mountain Bikes should also come with a IP code like electronic equipment?
  • 1 0
 YEAH!!! We want cheaper bikes! They have to be easier to service too. And have way more technology, but be a lot simpler. And all the parts should be universal. And come with a 7000 page instruction manual digital copy that they laser into our corticies to make up for the lack of technical experience. AND 36" LONG STEERER TUBES!
It's gotta look good, tho... We want ceramic coated paint jobs and top teir components on EVERY bike.

All jokes aside, love @noapathy s idea of running the bars straight through the headset. If we play are cards right, no more stems.
  • 1 0
 1) Tires. Current tires are very good, but I feel it's all refinement on the existing design path. Something radical, like NASA inspired or biomimicking (cat's paws!) technology would be awesome. My speed on the trail is basically defined by the prevailing traction. I think there are big potential improvements to traction, rolling resistance and puncture resistance / sealing. Perhaps totally different wheel/rim design too. This basic system has been around for 100 years ... maybe that means it's the best, maybe development is stagnated.
2) Chainguards. So much lubrication development against the enemy of a dirty chain ... how about we simply have a splash guard to minimize crap on the chain in the first place.
  • 1 0
 Enclosed drivetrains might have significant benefits, but what are the downsides? Weight and the awkwardness of getting the chain back on when it does inevitably jam or fall off somehow?
  • 1 0
 "reasonably priced bearing kits, and/or a list of required bearing codes on the manufacturer's website."

I had this issue with my Devinci Spartan 2015, no way to get the list of bearings types and quantity to change them.

I had to email them to get the list.
  • 1 0
 Stop trying to market bikes that are fast, focus on fun, reliability and affordability in that order, Airdrop are good example of this with the Slacker...form and function over aesthetics, internal cable routing sucks, also integrated batteries in e bikes increase weight, and increase CoG. Allow customisation options like brakes or components so we dont have to upgrade SRAM brakes straight away ala Bird
  • 1 0
 they will never learn, I have some of my bike setups attached and I have at least 5 spacers or I cut them only at least an inch, here's my bikes..

www.pinkbike.com/photo/20578063

www.pinkbike.com/photo/18577149
  • 1 0
 Stop pushing a narrative that forces people into spending money that doesn't need to be spent. The wheel wars are an example, this was / is garbage and their objective was to make money by abandoning a standard that had worked just fine for thirty plus years which in turn deprecated parts and support for a huge segment of the sport that didn't / doesn't have the disposable income to replace the stuff they may have just bought.
  • 1 0
 Make spare parts more readily available for longer. If bike continue on the expense trajectory they are on, you would expect that you could at least have spares available beyond 3-5 years. From past experience I have resorted to parts hoarding.
  • 1 0
 Couple of things I'd like to see. This relates more to entry bikes, I reckon we ruin the experience for new or entry level riders. Cockpits set up better in the factory - with the brake levers inboard and at an angle appropriate and reach adjusted to the 'typical' rider for that frame size. Entry level bikes not spec'ed with so much crap. No need for rubbish forks and triple chain rings making bikes heavier and more complicated.
  • 1 0
 I used to work at QBP bike builder department (those jobs all went back overseas).We would pre-assemble bikes to go in boxes to be shipped to retailers. One thing the Salsa and Surly folks did that I loved was spec each bike with 40mm of stem spacers. Gave the buyer some more room than most to adjust bar height.
  • 1 0
 Some good recommendations here.

A few I would like to throw into the mix:

1. Two geo charts for each bike - unsagged and at manufacturer's front and rear sag recommendation. I think this would help clear up a lot of misconceptions for end users
2. (not as simple) if users could enter their inseam, and the geo chart would provide some meaningful data on distances from (top of saddle colinear to seat tube?) to top to heat tube (or better yet, axis of handlebars), effective STA etc. Would have to assume crank length, stem length etc (this might make product managers think about specs more!).
3. Brake calliper alignment screws - I am still in shock this was able to be patented!

And adding a bit for bearing removal - while not always possible, at least on metal based frames jacking screws should be able to be a feature (probably small grubsrews for the bearing sizes in question).Having said that I have never had a problem with a blind puller on a bike - maybe I am lucky.
  • 1 0
 Stack height is a major one for me. My seat ends up being far higher than my bars than it should be because the stack height on Xl frames does not go up enough in relation to the rest of the bike. There is only so much upsweep you can get in a handlebar!
  • 2 0
 I wouldn’t mind hearing about how to recycle all the crap the bike industry is putting out. All the plastic apparel, helmets, protectors, tires and so on.
  • 5 1
 Get ready for a new standard. Sram flat top chains are different.
  • 16 14
 Maybe consumers could just do more research instead of hoping to be spoon fed. The bar to entry for mountain biking is actually just a cheap used bike and a place to ride.
  • 7 2
 Make it affordable.
  • 1 6
flag yakimonti (Mar 2, 2023 at 8:35) (Below Threshold)
 A lot of whining on here about affordable, but, I know more than a few people that bought entry level hard tail MTB's during the pandemic, aka-a bike I'd never ride lol, and are having as much fun as I am riding and discovering trails.
  • 3 0
 They could hire me, an overly-opinionated guy in his late 20a, I bet that would make it better. Nice article, Seb!
  • 2 2
 The FC-RC proportionality argument is an interesting one. Personally, I don't want all bands to go all-in on FC-RC proprortionality. It's nice we have brands like Norco, Forbidden, YT offering different length chainstays on different size bikes for riders who like that, but it's also nice that other bands keep relatively static stays for riders who prefer the feel of a specific number. When there's more variation and more choices, consumers win.
  • 2 1
 I do love the way numbers feel
  • 2 0
 So many things in life "require an unnerving combination of ingenuity and brutality to get the job done." Excellent sentence! @seb-stott
  • 6 2
 Make a transmission that doesn't hang off the side of the rear wheel.
  • 6 0
 I realize I'm in the minority, but I'd gladly take up to a 5% reduction in efficiency if it meant not replacing multiple drivetrain components more than once a year. Also, even on a hardtail, moving the weight off the rear wheel to the center of the bike makes a huge difference in ride feel. Give me a trigger operated 5 speed gearbox with around 300% range that I rarely have to mess with and I'd be a happy man.
  • 2 1
 Simple......All bike companies should run design, marketing and engineering ideas through a PinkBike comment poll before making decisions! Headset cable routing...GONE! No mullet option....NO. Price increase....OH HELL NO!
  • 1 0
 guess what I'm going here today? market research.
  • 1 1
 "A suspension setup guide should ... take into account ... riding style."

Oh yeah? You got any categories lined up for "riding style". Because we all know how semi-useless and diluted bike categories are, I'm sure some metric called "riding style" won't be completely useless almost instantly. And then someone will add a "downcountry" riding style to their setup guide and the world will implode with the force of 8 billion of Levy's Mini Coopers getting hucked to flat.
  • 4 0
 They could offer a three tiered Sport-Normal-Comfort clicker/pressure setting like my motorcycle does. The bike would dictate the type of riding, so no need to have options for that, and then you would choose which of the three settings you want to set as a starting point. I wouldn't consider that useless at all.
  • 6 0
 It's just like how ski binding DIN tables have different values for beginnner/intermediate/advanced/expert levels at each weight & BSL. Not really that complicated. And judging by the number of "how do I measure sag" posts you see on forums everywhere I think a lot of people would find it useful.
  • 1 0
 My style is Enduro Wannabe Or perhaps too-old-to-risk-it
  • 4 0
 Don't spec resin brakes, especially resin only rotors. ugh.
  • 1 1
 Great article, BTW. If you have to pick 5, that about nails it!
I put a Rockshox (Judy?) fork with 120mm of travel on a bike back in 2009. Top of the line. 20mm thru-axle.
I heard that axle standard is coming back for trail bikes. Guess I should have hung onto that fork!
  • 2 0
 Yes, a better way to adjust sag. Maybe a button to automatically adjust it. Call it "Autosag". Specialized you listening??
  • 1 1
 In order to spec more stem spacers on bikes, fork manufacturers are going to have to engineer stronger steerers - which will make forks heavier and/or more expensive. Typically, it is the fork manufacturer who limits the # of spacers due to safely and warranty constraints.

So, how many here would prefer having a heavier fork and pay more for it to ensure greater height adjustability though spacers versus finding a bar with the correct rise on a well-designed frame with proportional stack measurement/head tube length?
  • 4 0
 New forks already come with longer steerers than you find on complete bikes, so they wouldn't have to engineer anything. The bike mfr would just not cut the steerer down as far during the assembly process.
  • 2 0
 There are very few bars with more than 20mm rise, so there aren’t a lot of bars out there to choose from, renthal make 40mm rise and they’re one of the few. Spank is the only company that make a high rise bar that is 60mm but it’s heavy and there are no carbon bars with more than 40mm, and the fact that almost every stem is zero degrees rise doesn’t help. Adding more stem spacers under the stem from the factory is a no brainer and they should do it, personally I think bikes look worse with bars super low, especially with the seat post up.
  • 1 0
 @laerz: Enve M9 is 50mm carbon. Funn Equalizer is a modestly priced +10mm stem that comes in many sizes.
  • 1 0
 @jdejace: that’s one handlebar, and it’s only 10mm more, and it’s super expensive, are there any other options? Like I said there aren’t a lot of choices. I actually have that funn stem and it’s ok. I’m talking more like hope’s stem with 20 degree rise, and yes they’re are a few options out there but not a lot. The hope stem is the only one I’ve found that is 50mm and twenty degrees rise. I also have a ritchey stem that is 60mm with a 30 degree rise but it’s more of a xc stem.
  • 1 2
 @bkm303: These longer steerers are not engineered to have unlimited unsupported steerer exposed form the top for the head tube. Most fork manufacturers specify limits to how much can safely be exposed. They spec aftermarket steerer long so they can be cut down to fir any frame size correctly and safely - no so you can have 8 inches of unsupported steerer protruding from your headset to compensate for an ill-fitting frame. It's not about the existence of a longer steerer - it's about the strength of the materials, and the forces it would have to endure over time.
  • 2 0
 @eastieboy: Nobody is asking for 8", don't be obtuse.

From a force/moment perspective on the steerer there's zero difference between 10mm of steerer with a 30mm riser bar vs a 30mm steerer with a 10mm riser bar. If Jack Moir can run 30mm of spacers + a big ass riser bar I'm pretty sure none of us are going to snap our steerer tubes at the upper race and die.

Yes head tubes should probably be taller in some cases, but the least bike brands could do is give you the full 30mm of adjustment (what RS allows in their single crown manual). Many don't give you that much. That's the whole point of that bit of the article..
  • 1 0
 @laerz: Ergotec do 70mm, but it's also heavy. Cheap at least!
  • 3 0
 I'm hoping they'll start putting more batteries in more stuff. Pedals and brakes for sure.
  • 3 0
 and subscription based shifting.
  • 3 0
 @TerrapinBen: Pay Per Shift! make bundles where if you by a prepaid shiftcard with 1000 shifts, you also get a free 100 dropper cycles!!!!

can I ask where you got your MBA? lol
  • 4 0
 Standardized motor mounts, batteries and electronics for ebikes.
  • 1 0
 Move to digital drive!
  • 3 0
 I would like to see pictures of every frame size on bike manufacturer websites.
  • 2 0
 Who cares that there *are* lower-hanging fruits? This article should have said: "I'd humbly suggest picking* lower-hanging fruits" - humbly should also be tossed in the bin.
  • 1 0
 @seb-stott have you given any thought to a rider size specific suspension kinematics? If a geometry at size spectrum extremes is suboptimal, so should be suspension kinematics and wheel travel as well, right?
  • 2 2
 @seb-stott: "Norco's setup guide is by far the best here, although when I last used it the settings were a little off, so even it could use some tweaks and refinement."

Keep in mind this is written on their, and all others', website:

"Please note that our suspension settings are a suggested starting point, not rigid values that will work for every rider. Please refer to the manufacturers' default suspension settings for more information."

You're effectively complaining because their setup guide didn't have, "Hey Seb, here is your custom setup guide!" written at the top. Their setup guide rocks, and shouldn't be lambasted because it was off by 0.00004 bar and you bottomed out once during a 5-hour ride over undulating terrain.
  • 2 0
 I have to use 3 separate tools to remove my frame bearings. Also, why anywhere from 3-6 different sized bearings? Couldn’t this be a tad more standardized as well?
  • 2 0
 Yo don't cut your steer tube with a pipe cutter! If you don't know why then do it and see how it causes your stem to not want to come off..
  • 3 0
 They make an extra little burr remover that's usually right at the same place in the hardware store that will fix that. You can also file down the edge that happens
  • 1 0
 "More stem spacers
More than one product manager has admitted to me that the main reason for this is aesthetics."

Bullsh*t. It's done to further monitize the industry. All steer tubes should remain uncut until purchase.
  • 1 0
 It's not likely that a steerer will fail but it is very likely that some customer will cut their steerer incorrectly, install a star nut incorrectly, or mess it all up in some other way and that liability will fall on the manufacturer. Aesthetic reasons? sure. Liability is a much stronger reason that they are cut to a specific length relative to head tube length.
  • 1 0
 I'll add a 6th thing the bike industry should stop doing.

Stop releasing 'new' models every year! It's not necessary.

Usually it's just a colour change so what's the point?
  • 3 1
 Make all servicing as easy as possibly. In short make servicing g....grate me less.
  • 2 0
 100% agree on setup. Its the biggest issue facing the industry IMO. Its just too hard for newbies
  • 5 3
 I wouldnt mind seeing clevis shock mounts dissapearing. Id rather carry a bottle in a back than brake a good shock.
  • 1 0
 @jonemyers: this, it really is the complaining about water bottles that is responsible
  • 3 4
 pretty much all of these things wouldn't be a problem at all if people just went to a good shop/worked on having a good relationship with a good shop. Come in, shoot the breeze, get some discounts, and let us help you get your stuff dialed. And if you're buying a new bike just tell your shop not to cut your steerer to short if you want a dorky high sternum breaker
  • 8 2
 I don’t think the shops are cutting the steerer tubes. It’s the manufacturer. I’m a normally-proportioned 6’3” and I ride XL bikes. Several times I have immediately sold the stock fork from a new bike and bought a new one, not to upgrade, but to get an uncircumcised steerer. They should just leave them uncut on new bikes and let the shop do it as part of the fitting process.
  • 1 0
 @Chafingdish: Yeah. At least some bike manufacturers don't even cut them. They tell the fork manufacturer what they want. That's why you'll see some XS bikes with 30mm of spacers and some XL bikes of the same model with 0.
  • 1 0
 @Chafingdish: All of our brands send all of their real mtbs steerer uncut
  • 3 0
 @ybbikes: really, which brands? I am curious.
  • 1 1
 @ybbikes: is this the industry norm? Shops are cutting the tubes when they build the bike?
  • 1 0
 @Chafingdish: Agreed. Orbea insisted on cutting my steerer tube to their specs when I bough a Rallon. That made that fork very hard to sell.
  • 2 0
 @IamZOSO: Yup. I've specifically asked Orbea and Transition, and both said it wasn't an option. Pole agreed to, though.
  • 1 0
 Agreed so much especially on stack height and cutting forks except even as a tall person, I don't want to be stuck on long ass chain stays,
  • 2 0
 Ben Cathro doing the lord's work on #2 and #3 here by normalizing running ~40mm bars
  • 2 0
 Plot twist: chainstay and front center lengths have more to do with rider weight than they do with rider height.
  • 2 0
 enough of the bullshit pricing for a carbon frame. It costs less to produce now and we all know it.
  • 2 0
 @jonemyers: This can’t be said enough !
  • 1 1
 @smaptyjohnson: 15 thousand dollars for a bicycle seems to be highway robbery. I believe the industry does not care about the riders at all we are test rats who empty out our bank accounts because we are told the "precious" must be bought at any price.
As an example we all wasted thousands on bummer droppers for at least 4 years with ZERO recourse. Again we are test rats.
The industry sold us 7K 26" bikes saying that these were the ultimate and could not be improved on aside from wireless tech coming in the future. Hell my Nomad and Mojo became door stops in their eyes the moment we were told that they ALL SUCK and 27.5 is now the standard and 29 is our future. Then they stopped producing parts to keep the used bikes running. My Fox 36s are useless without certain parts even when they were only 5 years old I sent them to Fox they fixed what they could and sent the pile back stating each one has one part we do not make anymore and I should buy into new technology.
I am so done with the industry. It makes me want to say f*ck this and stop riding bikes.
Now the industry is saying I NEED THAT E-BIKE as it will get me to further desolate places and give the ultimate ride.
f*ck E-BIKES until i can not pedal due to age or body I will repeat this Go f*ck yourselves with all your eeeee crap.
Yes it is destroying our fun on and off the trails.
  • 2 1
 Can the aluminum bikes come with good components? Some brands do a commendable job with this while others feel like aluminum bikes should only be for peasants.
  • 1 2
 get a frameset and have at it! There are good reasons not to put XX1 on an AL bike, and asking a company to make a new SKU for .001% of the market is Captial R, tarded.
  • 1 0
 Buy a Privateer
  • 3 0
 100% agree with easier suspension set up
  • 1 0
 Easy problem to identify, but difficult to solve in practice. Most end users (understandably) want a simple answer, but getting from "good enough" to "dialed" requires bracketed testing, plus a certain amount of understanding and rider ability.

For everyone on this train, what's your pain point? Most frame manufactures have decent setup guides for rear shocks, same is true for forks. Is it clicker settings? Fore/aft balance? Knowing what right feels like? Something else entirely?
  • 2 0
 Curious to learn more about how height affects suspension setup (given two riders with the same weight and riding style).
  • 2 0
 As a rule of thumb, taller riders (6'2"+) of a given weight tend to need a firmer spring rate and stiffer valving out back due to the leverage they can apply to the rear of the bike during weight shifts (especially rearward). Otherwise the considerations are the same for riders of any height - weight, speed, application, and preferred feel (there truly is no accounting for taste).
  • 2 0
 @DirtCrab: I see, makes sense. Interesting that this never seems to be discussed in suspension setup guides.
  • 3 0
 Dont route that shit through the headtube ffs
  • 2 0
 I’m sure this has already been said 1,000 times, but stop making expensive bikes no reasonable person needs just because.
  • 3 1
 Dear bike industry, help us, help you, make less money. Sincerely, pinkbike, et al.
  • 2 1
 Make frame protection (Ridewrap, Dyedbro...) part of the assembly of the frame in the factory to save on cost/time and quality for the end consumer.
  • 1 0
 An attempt to follow some standard specs for things such as headset dimensions, seat post dimensions, bottom brackets specs and flipping rear hubs.
  • 2 0
 Just design the bikes in a way that no water and dirt can reach the bearings!
  • 1 0
 Less bike journalism, less influence by bike journalist. Bike pants are the best example of stupid things journalist made popular....along with knee pads on trail rides.
  • 1 2
 Wow when they said the bike industry improvements I figured they'd touch on areas of acceptable business practices and opinions from actual people currently employed in the industry. Not just pseudo journalists who write articles for the average Beta chad bike guy. With an IQ of 25 who lurks threads about how come there isn't a 14 tooth driver available for the used single speed hub he bought here....

(Insert Confused Unga bunga mechanic noises meme here)

Bravo Guys Phenomenal Writing.....

This article seems to be more geared towards just making everything easier for the average consumer and the novice at home mechanics and just the MAKE STUFF ChEaPeR for all concepts. Like: HeY GuYs Moar people would ride if it was more affordable......

Yeah & I'd love it, if (insert brand name here) actually warrantied my frame.... or if I could buy it from the same factory for the same cost they paid for it..... or if there weren't import fees..... or if Oceanic freight and Rail Freight was free as well..... Those would be awesome improvements right? But then who gets paid who actually gets the money?

Meh I guess Outside just doesn't want to hire anyone to write an article that's gonna upset any brand who buys add space here or sponsors any content or events... Oh well wishful thinking....... Anyways All Jokes Aside though

I severely doubt this was already brought up here in the comments

The One Grey Area That I've seen recently pop up over the past three to four years essentially before Covid and Post Covid is, eCommerce sales and violation of long held or recently acquired territory agreements. This became more prevalent and re-occurring issue that always required either lots of correspondence which lead to time lost and lost sales all whilst waiting for a simple clear concise answer. From the Massive Corporate Brand, It seems that over the past couple years that the industry has shifted from supporting the local shops to f*cking them over big time by launching their own highly competitive eCommerce Sites and essentially reclaiming the market back as their own.... and then shitting on us for doing the same thing that we've been doing for years before them.... saying all the sudden we can't do that anymore.

They're making it almost damn near impossible for any shop any business owner to remain competitive. Much less carry the product. Especially if the product in question has a controlled MSRP already set and publicly advertised, & is on sale for a substantially lower price then what your own margin and cost allows for.

But then to just turn around and essentially tell any small business or any shop that you’re violating the Annual NDA Contract you signed. For trying to do the exact same thing same thing i.e. sell their product online and ship their product to other neighboring provinces, states, and or even other countries. Simply because you have it and it’s your business prerogative to do so..... You know to make money.

If they could stop this hypocritical practice of selling direct to any consumer in any country.
Whilst barring us from doing it too.

That would be great........ Like if they didn't want us to sell it. Why bother with dealer programs, dealer orders, & dealer accounts, if we simply can’t compete with them. Much less sell it in a specific manner that reaches a wider audience than just the locals in our area

What’s really upsetting here is when they write and attach more clauses in their dealer agreements essentially barring us from doing what we've always done in the first place. Our perspective here is it just seems to be too much red tape to do anything about it. Honestly what’s the point, which really begs the next big question what will happen to the shops in the next 5-10 years?

“If these rules or agreements carry forward.”

Here are some of the responses we've essentially gotten from over the years.

"Like wait we're only allowed to do that." "no no no you can’t advertise shipping prices either"
"You have to sell it locally" "no guys you can have an eCommerce that's fine,.... But you'll have to ensure that you sell it locally though" .....

Like excuse me what why.......? Nobody use to care; now it is such a big deal why? It used to be territory agreements for their product in your store. Not exclusive rights for only that brand to sell its entire product line up online and you can’t.

Wtf happened....
  • 1 0
 in complete shock. i thought they would mention every single person welding frames with steal tubing as a must for the bike industry. lol
  • 1 0
 Trust me when I say this. Longer chainstays for taller riders isn't a good thing, ever. Sacrificing maneuverability is never an option.
  • 1 0
 Proportionate sizing frame. God! Finally pls give me a proportionate bike!!!!!!
  • 1 0
 Who is this wise man who writeth with so much clarity? Where has he been all this time?
  • 1 0
 Raise bb heights so we can actually pedal again. Steepen HT angles just a tad so we can turn and steer again.
  • 6 8
 Saw this article an though oh this'll be good! Only thing I agree with is the multiple unnecessary standards, we don't want more stem spacers, we want head tubes that fit the rider.. why do small medium an large have the same steerers? So kinda agree with the proportional sizing.

Oh an bring back 20mm axles FFS
  • 4 1
 I’d love to see more adjustability on frames. I’d love to see chainstay adjustment, built in reach adjustment or running EC lower headset cups so reach adjust headsets only change reach, progression adjustment and mullet compatibility as the standard for all bikes so that the customer can tailor their bike to their needs, and there is a little more overlap between sizes. I’d also like to see greater seatpost insertion depths on full suspension bikes. If I’m tall enough to theoretically fit a 240mm dropper on a bike, I want to be able to slam it into the frame regardless if I’m riding an XS or a XXL
  • 2 0
 stack height. LEts take the fuel EX as an example. the new gen 6, Perfect trail bike... infact probably the best bike on the market in that catagory BUT IT WOULD BE if they didnt ruin the bike by giving it a short headtube and low stack....... the length of steerer needed and spacers make for a very flexy front end. FYI, The reason they are saying stem spacers is because of lack of knowledge around how big a headtube should be, Brands are making bikes longer but not raising stack, this is ment to remedy the front end balance but it doesnt at all... you still have to weight the front to get it to grip on these newer bikes.
  • 2 1
 How about improve their customer service? I keep having to write off great bikes due to crappy customer service.
  • 1 0
 Because of the picture I thought the Norco suspension guide would've said "ditch that X2"
  • 2 0
 Wait! There are bike industry standards?
  • 2 1
 Disclose % of warrantied frames/parts for consumers who value reliability (RIP Fox)
  • 1 0
 The updated helmet certification standard that’s about 8 years late, for concussion protection.
  • 2 4
 @sebstott, please donmt advocate for the large majority of bike owners to buy a $10 pipe cutter, and cut theyre own steer tube. After decades of wrenching and riding, the vast majority of riders dont know their way around a tool box to do this properly, re-install a starnut, and correctly put the headset back together. This is terrible advice.
I recognize that some would like to add more spacers, but when purchasing your bike, see if you can make a deal with the shop for swapping out a fork with a new one., maybe even for a small upcharge.

add to that, most dont know or want to even make that change, and its now going to add one more thing to do at the shop level to build a bike, and get it out the door

$10 pipe cutters are pretty garbage anyway
  • 2 0
 Lower prices since their all made in China
  • 2 0
 Bike prices are insane they need to relax a little
  • 2 0
 OMG a PB article I wholeheartedly agree with!
  • 1 0
 The above is, among other reasons, why I do my research on serviceability and then usually just buy a frame.
  • 2 0
 Yup. Better standards. Every nut and bolt on a bike is different size lol.
  • 2 0
 What is that blue Norco at the top?
  • 1 0
 Yeah seems to be a prototype, there is nothing about it on the Norco hp. Suspension design looks familiar...
  • 1 0
 @lukeno1: It turns out its the Ebike version.
  • 1 0
 @KingPooPing: ahh OK, thanks for that! Ebike-content-filter works just fine ;-)
  • 3 0
 Bring back 26”
  • 1 0
 id like to see more external cable routing, like what gt did a couple of years ago with their groove tubes.
  • 2 0
 You nailed it Seb. Especially the stupid low stack height on la
  • 2 0
 Better pay for engineers!!!
  • 1 0
 Universal standards and frame measurements
  • 3 3
 Better colors, more customization with colors. Some brands like Giant, Rock Mountain,Canyon have uggl paint jobs.
  • 1 0
 Umbrella improvement - read the pinker's comments
  • 1 0
 but.... Half the speed of light!
  • 2 1
 Typo! Unnecessary* standards
  • 1 0
 The industry needs more critics.
  • 2 0
 I like turtles
  • 1 1
 I have long said that it would be nice to have on the fly adjustable bar height some how. Engineers get to work !
  • 1 0
 Fox can do better than orange for their sponsored riders.
  • 3 2
 This article would have been so much better if written by Paul Aston
  • 1 0
 The lack of spacers is one of the big reasons I build my own bikes.
  • 1 0
 How just make shit more reliable.
  • 1 0
 Make Standards..... Standard
  • 1 0
 'plenty of riders want to raise their bars'... Do you mean tall people?
  • 1 0
 I sure as sheep shite hope 'XG' cassettes are Not an upcoming standard
  • 1 0
 Internal cable routing is still trash in 2023
  • 1 0
 Very good points made here. A couple that I havent considered myself!
  • 1 0
 Proportionate sizing AND component selection
  • 1 0
 Stop shitting on each others venues. High tide floats all boats.
  • 1 1
 Quick play tornado rip and tickle beef sneezе
  • 1 1
 31.8 handlebar and stem....love ir...leave it....
  • 2 0
 25.4 for lyfe
  • 2 1
 High-Pivot Everything
  • 2 4
 Most people would be riding e-bikes if they weren’t so expensive.
  • 1 0
 I could definitely see that. I personally had an sb 160e and didn't care for it. The faster uphill experience just wasn't worth the trade-off in downhill, flat, and rolling terrain. I think the lighter bikes that are coming out make more sense from a "biker's" perspective. But my conclusion was gaining some uphill speed and shaving 20 minutes off my ride was not worth all the downsides.
  • 1 0
 Yep, most people today are lazy and dumb.
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