Opinion: Which MTB Innovations Do We Actually Need?

Feb 16, 2022 at 9:04
by Seb Stott  


Innovation is a tricky business. Many of the technologies that have made mountain biking as good as it is today (suspension, dropper posts, disc brakes...) were once considered unnecessary and over-complicated by some. But on the other hand, if you look back at a magazine from a few years ago you'll see no shortage of "game-changing" innovations that never amounted to much.

Trust Shout review
Neither Kazimer nor I were impressed with the $1,975 Trust Shout.
Specialized WU Seatpost
A tube in a tube in a tube in a tube, what could possibly go wrong?

To name a few, how about linkage forks, one-piece wheels, pull shocks, multiple shocks, or the Specialized's WU dropper posts that adjusted the saddle tilt as it dropped... Some of these were good ideas in many ways, but the fact they failed to take off suggests they weren't as much of a gamechanger as their inventors hoped, or perhaps were too complicated to be worth the effort.

Looking back in time, it seems easy to sort the revolutionary innovations from the duds. But hindsight is 20/20. Spotting what's going to move the sport along in future (and what's not) is much trickier.

So which of the current crop of tech trends are worth having? I'm going to play the role of the bad guy in Gladiator and sort those that deserve to live from those we could probably live without.

Bear in mind, this is just my current opinion and I'm both willing and likely to change my mind about some of these ideas. It isn't meant to rain on anyone's parade and I certainly don't want to discourage innovation; it's just a finger-in-the-wind take on which ideas I think we're likely to see more of in future. Who knows? Looking back on this list in ten years' time I might have got it all wrong.





Six-bar suspension


To recap, a four-bar linkage is one where the rear axle is mounted on a frame member which is not directly connected to the mainframe, but moves on two other links - these could be a pair of short links (like VPP) or a rocker link and a chainstay (Horst-link). That makes four frame members: the mainframe, lower link/chainstay, rear triangle/seatstay, and upper link.

A six-bar linkage adds two more frame members and three or four more pivot points. This adds weight and cost, along with more parts to service. I haven't seen a satisfyingly specific justification from any six-bar proponents, but the claimed advantage usually has to do with fine-tuning the axle path and therefore the anti-squat curve in a way that isn't possible with a four-bar design. But whether that makes the bike ride appreciably better is highly questionable. After all, there's little agreement on what any of these curves should ideally look like anyway.

What's more, according to Pinkbike's kinematics expert, Dan Roberts, some of these designs are extremely sensitive to pivot placement, to the point where manufacturing tolerances could (potentially) create a meaningful change in those highly-refined kinematics.

Long-travel droppers

Like many people, there was a time when I had just about convinced myself a 125mm dropper was all you needed. Sure, the saddle got in the way sometimes (actually quite often) but that probably just meant I wasn't hanging far enough off the back of the bike, right? Then every time I tried a longer post - first 150mm, then 175mm, then 200mm and more - it felt great to have a bit more room to move around and allow the bike to come towards me when pumping. When I returned to a shorter seatpost, the saddle always seemed to be in the way more often than I noticed before.

Some people blame steep seat tubes for the need for more drop, but I think the move to longer front-centre lengths is a better explanation because you can't hang your weight behind an over-extended saddle if you want the front wheel to grip. Really though, long-travel droppers were always a great idea - judging by the wear marks on the last fixed seatpost I ever owned, I was dropping it by about 200 mm by preference. It just took time to make a reliable dropper that long.

Through-stem cable routing


When it comes to regular internal cable routing, most manufacturers have managed to eliminate the rattle and make it relatively easy to change a cable. But recently Magura launched a concept for a brake with cables running through the handlebar, then Focus launched several new bikes with cables running through the headset, spacers and the stem.

I hardly need to tell you the drawbacks of this. Swapping a cable means taking the stem apart and changing stem length involves taking the brake apart and re-bleeding it. Even dropping the bar height requires a different (round) spacer above the stem, which means different parts and a less-than-clean look, which sort of destroys the point. Having a few cables crossing in front of the frame is fine.

Tire inserts
Cushcore review

Inserts aren't for everyone. Regular tires offer enough protection for most people and if you're worried about pinch punctures or rim damage you could just increase pressures slightly. But if you're after the best possible grip, they have real benefits. Not only do they add some protection for your tires and rims, allowing lower pressures, they also increase the damping of the tire, making it less bouncy, more stuck to the ground.

You could achieve much of this with a thicker-casing tire, and doing so might have a similar weight penalty to adding an insert. But here's the thing: thicker tire casings dramatically increase rolling resistance, which has a much bigger effect on rolling or climbing speed than the extra weight does. But with an insert, you can have the protection and damping benefits without the slower rolling speeds.

High pivot trail bikes
2022 Norco Range C1

I'm sure this will be controversial. I get that high pivot bikes have advantages - they're better at absorbing large bumps and have better sensitivity while pedalling. If you're looking to get down a World Cup track as fast as possible, they make a lot of sense. But even then, it's not as if low-pivot bikes aren't still winning races and when Neko Mullaly tested comparable high and low-pivot bikes in a really impressive batch of back-to-back testing, there wasn't much in it. It even sounded like he was leaning towards the low pivot bike.

I'm not saying high pivot bikes aren't better for descending (for a given amount of travel, I think they are); I just don't think the benefit is worth it for anything other than a downhill race bike. Manuals and bunnyhops are slightly harder work, the idler adds a measurable amount of drag, it adds weight and complexity, plus you'll usually need a longer-than-stock chain and a lower roller guide to keep the chain growth in check.

Are these downsides the end of the world? Absolutely not. But the upsides aren't going to change your life either, so I'm not convinced it's worth it for a bike you pedal under your own steam. If you've already got 200mm+ of suspension travel then fair enough, but otherwise it might be simpler, more efficient and more effective to just increase the travel in order to improve big-hit absorption.

High-volume air springs


While coil springs have the same stiffness throughout the travel, traditional air springs are much stiffer at the start of the travel than in the middle, which can make them feel harsh, unpredictable and unstable. But by increasing the volume in the positive and negative air chambers, it's possible to reduce this mid-travel dip in stiffness, making them perform more like coil springs, with the associated traction and support.

When companies advertise this "coil-like feel", people often ask "Why not just use coil springs"? Well, they're heavier, usually aren't progressive at the end of the travel, and most of all, changing the spring rate is incremental, expensive and time-consuming. And from a brand's perspective, getting all their customers set up with the right spring rates is a logistical headache. That's why air will continue to be the default option, especially as air springs continue to improve.

Electronically controlled suspension


Last year saw the release of RockShox Flight Attendant. Though not the first, it's the latest and greatest automatic suspension mode selector yet. It improved on Fox Live Valve and Lapierre's ei system by making it wireless, pedal sensitive, and offering an intermediate compression damping mode as well as open and closed.

The idea, of course, is to allow you to have a firm and efficient bike when climbing, a supple bike for descending, and something in-between when you're pedalling through rough terrain. And according to Kazimer's review, it basically does what it sets out to do.

But even the original Fox Live Valve worked exactly as intended most of the time. My issue with automatic lockouts in general is that, with modern bikes, having the suspension locked out is only a minor benefit unless you're out of the saddle sprinting - less than 1% faster according to this test. And for the longer climbs where that kind of percentage could add up to a few seconds, what's wrong with using the lockout manually?

Don't get me wrong, the technology is impressive. But given the marginal benefits (especially when compared to a cheap remote lockout), I struggle to see the appeal unless the price, weight and charging requirements come down considerably.

Wide range cassettes
Eagle AXS XX1 review

I realise the comments section is full of world-class athletes who can ride a singlespeed all day long up 25% inclines. Many of you might think that a 52-tooth bottom gear is totally unnecessary, but science says otherwise.


Let's imagine you're a 70 kg rider with a 15 kg bike and you want to ride up a 20% gradient (which is steep but not unheard of). Let's say you can sustain 360 W of power, which at that bodyweight is about the level of a male domestic pro cyclist. On a 20% gradient in ideal conditions, you could sustain a pace of 7 kph.

When working hard, most cyclists like to pedal with a cadence of about 90 RPM. With a 32-tooth chainring and a 29" wheel, you'd need at least a 56-tooth sprocket to achieve that cadence at 7 kph.

The point is, even very fit cyclists can benefit from large sprockets if the gradients are steep. It's not that riding hills that steep is impossible with a smaller cassette - I used to run an 11-36t cassette and got up (almost) all the same hills I do now - it's just that you'll have to use a less efficient cadence which is more tiring and harder on your body. Besides, gears shouldn't be designed for the fittest riders in optimum conditions, but to accommodate most riders in most conditions. If you think a 52-tooth sprocket is unnecessary, you're either not riding very steep climbs or you're putting up with a less than ideal cadence.




What do you think? Let us know in the comments.

Which of these technologies will be commonplace in ten years time?

Tick all that apply




459 Comments

  • 512 6
 If your bike is any more technologically advanced than a penny farthing then you are cheating. Man up and send that double black line on your mullet victorian weapon, with nothing more than a well groomed moustache for protection.
  • 76 9
 Stop that mullet trend now, farthing needs an idler
  • 69 1
 The Penny Farthing is way too progressive, is the most mullet of all mullets.
  • 21 6
 Invert Farthing could be a thing
  • 37 0
 @redrook: greg minaar grew up riding a farthing. Its clearly superior to every option but the Grim Donut
  • 28 0
 You modern lunatics and your moustache wax, you should be out here riding with a bird's nest on your lip as nature intended. Any more technology that that is beyond what is acceptable. What's next? Pneumatic tyres? Chains? Where does it end?
  • 26 0
 but a 500mm dropper would make a penny farthing so much easier to mount.
  • 44 1
 @calmWAKI: Farthing background is the next bmx background.
  • 1 0
 A penny farthing needs at least 200mm crank arms.
  • 3 0
 Just take the stabilizer off and ride a proper mountain unicycle (MUni). The penny farthing is pretty advanced in comparison.
  • 2 0
 @sewer-rat: Farthing needs Fillmore Valves! Prove me wrong!
  • 1 0
 24, 26 max. No mo.
  • 3 0
 I've got the latest in penny farthing upgrades. I have pedals on the small wheel as well, for them steep hills. Just turn the bike around. And yes, pun was intended.
  • 1 0
 @redrook: Back in the 70's and Mullets were becoming a hairstyle, The kickback to the Raleigh chopper (and Schwinn equvalent!) was the Indi 500 Odball!https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fleistcycles.com%2F2019%2F06%2F24%2Ffor-sale-genuine-indi-500-oddball-2%2F&psig=AOvVaw3WEWmQLv6AaWvUGnvxiaRj&ust=1646625990453000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAsQjRxqFwoTCLDLlP3NsPYCFQAAAAAdAAAAABAD>. Guys would get a chopper bike, remove the front end (or extend the forks!?) and replace with the front end of a ten-speed.
  • 332 4
 Getting too old to care. Bike goes pedal.
  • 12 2
 This X 5000
  • 6 2
 Seconded
  • 7 2
 5thed
  • 21 2
 69th
  • 5 38
flag Jamminator (Mar 4, 2022 at 11:43) (Below Threshold)
 No can pedal when no care, now bike throttle go hummmmm.
  • 10 0
 your previous posts would suggest otherwise.
  • 12 27
flag bohns1 (Mar 4, 2022 at 11:48) (Below Threshold)
 @richard01 yep..I find myself comparing ebike motors nowadays more often than not..Less time to ride , more time to lap when I do get to ride = win.
  • 7 1
 @mattsavage: Im taking a hiatus in my old age, I will be back when 9.56 bar linkages are a thing or someone in the comments section is wrong.
  • 22 7
 @bohns1: Ten years ago when I was 26 and had time to ride 3hrs 2-3x per week I hated the idea of an eBike. Now... ten years older and I'm lucky if I can ride twice per month... I haven't bought one, but I get it.
  • 18 4
 @thrasher2: dude...find/make that time!!! I stalled on riding when I was married and my kids were really young (I was about the same age you are now and they were @ 4 and 6). Realized that the sanity from trail time is worth missing out on almost anything except time with my kids, and even time with the kids can be sacrificed for riding depending on how much I am doing. One of the first things I did when I realized I was bogged down was to make time for the bike. In a very good way, it opened the door to my divorce by helping me realize I needed to live my life on my terms. Me, my kids, and my ex are all better for it...
  • 5 0
 Yep, still on my 7 year old 27" bike, so over all the techy setup conversations everyone has on the trails, just ride!

The fun for me has always been in learning something new and taking some risks, others find joy in the fitness aspect.

I dont have any tolerance left for the types that spend their whole ride w@nking off over tech stats, geometry, suspension and who cares what else, those types cant ever be happy with the bike they have and blame everything on the equipment, when in reality they have forgotten to actually try and progress and improve their skill.
  • 13 1
 @thrasher2: Dude, you're 36 and have already given up. Its not bikes you need to worry about its your mental attitude. I'm 56 still ride hard and will never own an ebike, its possible, trust me.
  • 2 0
 I get my training by running on my hedonic treadmill. Wanting all the upgrades is what keeps me fit.
  • 1 1
 @OnTheRivet: damn that's so sick! Good for you
  • 1 0
 36, 56 where do all these kids come from? Try 66 and I rode 214 days last year; ok advantage retirement and not quite as cocky bout e-bikes anymore though I’m thinking more like in the distant future@OnTheRivet:
  • 179 5
 I’d rather a thousand exposed cables than the stem swallower
  • 55 0
 Omnomnom
  • 14 6
 Riding a Scott bike, I agree completely! Big Grin
(I actually like the Twinloc and don't care one bit about having a few more cables)
  • 30 0
 I like stem swallowers don't you ?
  • 11 0
 Bring back externally-routed cables! Apart from one for the dropper all they do is make servicing harder
  • 5 2
 @Balgaroth: obviously! your mum is a nice lady!
  • 2 0
 try doing any sort of maintenance on brakes or drivetrain. lmao not even worth trying half the time.
  • 141 1
 Rear pegs, I really feel held back by my inability to do rail grinds and/or transport additional people
  • 6 2
 I can't imagine how horrible it would be to ride in my woods with pegs. One time I was slowly creeping around a downed tree prior to a drop and got to close and I got hung up by the end of the axle. I let off the brakes and nothing happened.
  • 3 0
 @vapidoscar: Desert / Street only. "MTB Pegging from cobblestones to sandstone!"
  • 3 0
 There has been a while early this century when they came with pegs on mountainbikes. Wasn't there a Marzocchi DJ street (the one with full length bushings) which accepted pegs too?
  • 19 1
 Can we please not discuss grinder or pegging on a Mtn bike website? I already read plenty about that on other forums.
  • 3 0
 Oh man, the good ol' times of many friends on my bike, now they would just mess up my sag, that's why I don't have any..
  • 4 0
 @unrooted: You go to those websites to read?
  • 10 0
 It’s a Sledgehammer… Dang! You got shocks, pegs... lucky! You ever take it off any sweet jumps?
  • 1 0
 @vinay: Yup, there was a marzocchi, and it was heavy, and crap : D
  • 1 0
 @unrooted: Haven't you seen the cost of bikes recently? It's pretty much the same right?
  • 1 0
 @vapidoscar: wait what? How fast are you going to this drop? How did your crank legs didn't hung the tree before your axle?
  • 1 0
 @fracasnoxteam: I was going super slow. There was a run in after the log to get the speed I would need. It was a fallen tree. I think I just had my pedal higher than the log.

When I let off the brakes I didn't go anywhere and I was very confused. The guy behind me had to tell me what was going on.
  • 1 0
 @vapidoscar: pretty tech part, hope everything is fine
  • 72 5
 I voted with the heard on everything except tire inserts - they still feel like a bandaid to me. In 10 years, I hope the big tire companies are making tires that outperform today's tire/insert combos through better casing technology. I also fear that it's an area ripe for new standards - BSD, bead profile, rim bed shape, etc, all could go through proprietary and/or '29.99' type gyrations in pursuit of very expensive incremental performance gains... but I really think there is opportunity out there.

Some wiggle in diameter aside, we're all basically on the same tire and rim geometries we've known as cyclists for decades. Hookless is an interesting change. Tubeless really isn't that different, and you can run most 'non tubeless' tires tubeless with a little creativity and a lot of sealant. Width comes and goes. Casing plies and layups come and go.. in cross section, they're all pretty similar from a distance, and just about everything is still interoperable.
  • 34 1
 Commenting on myself... I also hold out naïve hope for a linkage fork. None have made it work commercially yet, but I'm open to the concept whenever it comes back around. The sad truth is even BMW Motorrad is leaning out of their linkage forks, and they're by far the biggest name/most successful moto example... but Honda added a linkage fork to their latest Goldwing.

That said... MTBs are not Goldwings. Yet.
  • 25 0
 @Glenngineer: I like you.
  • 10 1
 I can't remember where I read this, but tire inserts also have a slight damping effect on the tire. since a tire is just compressed air, much like a shock, there isn't anything to control the rebound. This can be seen in the slow mo huck to flat videos. The shock compresses slightly, then stops as the rear wheel almost bounces off the ground. I am interested in where inserts go from where they are to what they could be
  • 6 0
 While I agree that they are a bit of a band aid, it seems like to replicate the gains of an insert a wholesale change to the tire/rim is likely necessary. It would take a lot of convincing for me to buy a proprietary rim/tire that if the market doesn't take off will quickly become unsupported.
  • 9 3
 @Spencermon: Inserts can have as much of a damping effect as you want. The huck to flat videos aren't illustrating a damping problem, they're illustrating the stick-slip problem of fork bushing friction. If it was an issue of damping, you would see the fork's motion reverse to match the underdamped oscillations of the tire.

@mtmc99: Wouldn't have to be anything proprietary or exotic. In the last few years, we're starting to see more advanced casings with increased support near the bead that improve lateral stability and create a progressive casing spring rate. We just need to continue down that path a little further.
  • 2 0
 @Glenngineer: me too, I’ve ridden them all, wanted to love them but they just aren’t as good SO FAR, fingers crossed they continue to push innovation.
  • 5 9
flag wyorider (Mar 4, 2022 at 10:07) (Below Threshold)
 Inserts aren’t a band aid.

Tire and rim manufacturers need to develop those components to work explicitly with inserts to keep the benefits but trim some weight.
  • 1 0
 @R-M-R: www.peterverdone.com/huck-to-flat
found the explanation I was looking for. It's more apparent in the rear suspension.
  • 6 7
 @R-M-R: "they're illustrating the stick-slip problem of fork bushing friction. If it was an issue of damping, you would see the fork's motion reverse to match the underdamped oscillations of the tire."

None of what you said here is true.
  • 6 0
 I think the non-bandaid use case is lower pressures (often a lot lower) without rim damage. There are other applications like sidewall support and damping characteristics that are *probably* better solved with rim/tire design.

In slippery conditions lower pressures will always help. The low pressure grip is why you see trials moto running full moose inserts and basically no air. I see it fairly regularly in the PNW with people who I would normally expect needing pressures in 22/24psi range without any inserts riding pressures more like 18/19psi in the winter with inserts for grip.
  • 7 0
 @panaphonic: Okay, your turn to explain.
  • 1 0
 @R-M-R: go watch one of the videos. The rear wheel reverses direction relative to the ground after the initial impact.
  • 2 0
 @Spencermon: "tire inserts also have a slight damping effect on the tire. since a tire is just compressed air"

A tire is much more than compressed air. The rubber and carcass add a decent amount of rebound damping. That's why heavier casing tires tend to have more rolling resistance.
  • 11 1
 Even if tire sidewalls had huge advancements I'm not sure if the added cost/material would make it a better solution than inserts. Inserts outlast tires many times over and generally its better to keep the part that wears out as simple and inexpensive as possible.

Maybe there is a solution out there but I'm not sure sidewall tech is it.
  • 8 0
 @Spencermon: You mean the wheel that suffers from less stick-slip friction because it doesn't use a load-bearing, sliding bushing system? Wink

Some of the hesitation is due to the unsprung mass of the wheel and related components, but I maintain much of the problem is due to stick-slip behaviour of the front wheel. The rear wheel has a lot more unsprung mass, while the front has all the friction (when subjected to a bending load). Both wheels have factors that lead to the observed uneven movement. The unsprung mass of the rear is difficult to avoid, but the friction of a telescoping fork can be almost entirely eliminated.

@keeqan: A valid concern, but we're already seeing more advanced casings with zero to modest cost increases. Examples:

• Onza used a super thick butyl sidewall on some now-discontinued models. I didn't like how it rode - especially in cold weather - but it dramatically changed the ride and didn't change the cost.
• Maxxis has been using a small butyl strip near the bead of their DH tires for decades, and Vittoria for not quite as long.
• IRC has been using stiff foam or rubber near the bead for years.
• Schwalbe and Michelin are doing a great job of stacking support strips of varying heights near the bead. Adds only a few dollars to the price over their simpler casings.
• "Apex" stiffening layers from the bead to halfway up the sidewall are common on medium- to heavy-duty casings. Similar price bump to Schwalbe and Michelin.
• Many urban and touring tires use a thick layer of low hysteresis foam under the tread for puncture resistance with modest impact on price. It's not light, but the rolling resistance can be excellent; maybe something similar could be used on sidewalls.
  • 1 0
 @jeremy3220: Of course tires also have a damping effect. But there is so much more volume inside a tire and heavier casing tires also have some negatives. I'm just curious if tire inserts can innovate to take advantage of this and improve in a way that offers more consistency.
  • 4 0
 @Glenngineer: Totally agree. The whole tire/wheel paradigm is such wonky voodoo kludgeapalooza. Everything else has been relatively dialed over the past few decades, but this is still just absurd. Not just the last fruit, but I'd say was low-hanging from the outset.
  • 1 1
 @R-M-R: If you didn't watch, the video, you can just say so.
  • 9 0
 @Spencermon: Watched them, thanks. It seems you're trying to say all unevenness in suspension movement is due to undamped tire rebound. That's a factor, but there are other factors. Increasing the damping of the casing to the point of fully smoothing out suspension movement may not even be possible, given the friction and flex issues, and would create worse problems that it would solve.
  • 1 0
 Are you rooting for integrated stem and bar offerings as well? Choice of casing and insert allows for a more individualized setup.
  • 3 0
 @dancingwithmyself: Traditional casings have two plies at the base and three at the crown - or four and six on "two-ply" versions. Rim widths are usually half or less the width of a tire's casing. For many people, inserts are the only way to support a laterally flimsy tire on a narrow rim at a pressure that's acceptably comfortable.

The option will always exist to run an insert with a traditional casing on a narrow rim, but do you not want to have more sophisticated casings with progressive sidewall stiffness and a rim width that better supports the tire?

Similarly, you can still run a tube-type tire that allows you to choose your tube material and thickness, but the benefits of integration sometimes outweigh the limitations.
  • 7 0
 @Spencermon:

Dude, you are not gonna win. Go ride your bike
  • 2 1
 If the hubs went wider, like a front wheel 200mm boost sorta thing (an exaggerated case), that would make the wheel stronger. Could they then starting dialing more compliance back into the wheel via thinner spokes or lighter rims?
  • 1 0
 @Glenngineer:

Are they though? The R1250R and RS don’t have them any longer, but I suspect that’s mostly due to cost. The GS and RT both still have them (and I can’t see that changing). It’s a telelever, so not quite the same, but still a linkage. The K1600 still has the duolever (Hossack) front linkage.

Like you I’d love to see a commercially viable linkage fork. Could be a very effective solution on the bigger, more powerful e-bikes where the increased weight is negated by the motor.
  • 3 0
 @Td5819: What are your thoughts on this?

@mdinger: Unfortunately, not really. As it is, spokes are the main source of strength, not the rim, especially for aluminum rims. Improved spoke bracing angles would allow for rims with even less strength and stiffness, but wheel dynamics get weird when spokes start going slack, so there's not much room for movement. Also, there's only so far a low-profile rim can flex before the spokes poke through the rim tape.

Spokes could be thinner and rims could have even less depth for a little more radial compliance - or even become single-wall, like the Zipp 3ZERO Moto - but we're still talking about a few extra millimeters, when there are centimeters in play at the tire, not to mention suspension travel and frame flex. A possible benefit could be greater torsional compliance in the rim, which Zipp calls "ankle flex" in their 3ZERO Moto and appears to be making Zipp's rim less likely to tear tire casings when pinched. Not everyone likes the lateral flex of the 3ZERO Moto, and increased spoke bracing angle could allow "ankle flex" with adequate lateral stiffness.

For the past few years, I've been on a wheelset with Berd PolyLight fiber spokes and moderately low-profile rims. The difference in ride quality is more than I expected and I'm really enjoying it. Despite the high price, I think the return on investment is greater than many other high-end options, such as carbon vs. aluminum for the frame, bar, cranks, or stem.
  • 1 0
 @R-M-R:

I’d love to try it. That’s almost a textbook Hossack link design, just like the BMW duolever and similar to the system on the new Honda Goldwing.

My personal feeling is that it’s not quite the right design for a mountain bike, mostly because it means you need a frame specifically designed around it. The Duolever and Telelever on the BMWs also loses a little steering feel compared to a conventional fork. Not a problem on a big motorbike, but could be frustrating on a mountain bike.

I think a better design for mountain bikes would be similar to the Trust fork. There was also a chap who built a linkage fork with shock that used conventional telescopic legs for an Enduro motorbike a few years ago. The idea was that the shock and telescopic legs both dealt with different elements of damping. That was very compact and would work very well on an ebike.

I also like the Lauf carbon leaf spring gravel forks. I’ve been wondering about the possibility of building a burlier version.
  • 1 0
 @Td5819: Thank you for your feedback.

Yes, it's equivalent to a Hossack, but degrees of freedom of the spherical bearings are each decomposed into two sets of single-axis bearings, allowing for a new patent. I didn't experience any loss of steering feel, even on the much less robust proof-of-concept chassis.

My opinion is that a linkage fork has to be integrated into the chassis for ideal function. For a modular fork, the two choices are a high pivot with separate legs (ex. Motion Ride, AMP) or a solid upper with two sets of lower pivots (ex. Trust). The former gives more control over the kinematics, but stiffness and packaging are challenging; the latter facilitates a rigid chassis, but the kinematics cannot be optimized. Trust did what they could, but short links inevitably create significant changes in axle path, motion ratio, and anti-dive. Even with some clever innovations on the damper and spring, I feel the performance of the Trust was doomed by its kinematics. Motion Ride's product has more potential, though a modular fork will always have limitations that can be avoided with an integrated system - which, as you said, introduces other considerations.

I would argue an integrated front suspension is no different than an integrated rear, which the market has accepted. The front shock can still be changed, which is more than can be said for modular linkage forks, which almost always require a proprietary shock. Pros and cons on both sides; as you can tell, I'm firmly in favour of the superior kinematics and modular shock options of an integrated design.
  • 4 0
 @R-M-R:

All very good points and I don’t disagree, a fully integrated frame/ fork is probably a better solution. My thoughts are that I just suspect that it might be a step too far for a notoriously conservative industry…

Are you familiar with the Britten Motorcycle? That’s a great example of how a front and rear frame integrated solution could work.
  • 4 0
 @Td5819: Yes, marketing a front linkage is always a challenge. One my favourite approaches was ask people to imagine if front linkages were the dominant design and someone tried marketing a telescoping fork. No control over the motion ratio curve, axle path isn't independent from the fit and handling, massively pro-dive braking properties, steering that gets twitchier under load, a front-centre that shortens when your weight shifts forward, and low-tech sliding bushings with tens to hundreds of times more friction under load ... but at least it's less expensive! It would be relegated to hardware store bikes.

I'm familiar with the Britten design.
  • 2 0
 @R-M-R: that's cool! I've never seen the Britten design. I'm familiar with the goldwing, the bmw, the bimoto and a few others but hadn't seen that.
  • 1 1
 @joose: a conversation isn't a fight or a battle. I'm not here to "win"
  • 1 0
 @R-M-R: Definitely agree on better and more sophisticated casings, but think their ultimate effect would be that we'd end up running different/lighter inserts. Probably a good thing to move some of that function from the insert to the casing.

I was mainly voicing an opinion against trying to integrate an insert into a tire. I like that right now I can run a tannus tubeless most of time and throw in a cushcore for a big bike park trip, both using the same tire.

I think cost would also be an issue unless these new casings virtually eliminated flats. Imagine an integrated tire/insert that cost something like $150 or $175 (nice tire + cushcore). Your rip a sidewall on the 5th ride. Now instead of buying a new tire and reusing the cushcore insert, you are out a lot more money.
  • 2 0
 @Spencermon:

Ok cool, did you go ride your bike yet?
  • 1 0
 @dancingwithmyself: Your point is reasonable and we'll see how things evolve. My intuition is that all of the functionality could be shifted to the casing for most applications; outlier cases may still benefit from use-specific inserts (ex. super wide rims, racing applications that need some run-flat capability). It's an evolving technology and I'm excited to see how things improve.

One of the advantages to building the added support into the casing is that it doesn't have to cost much more. The OE cost of high-end tires ranges from approximately US$10 to US$30. Comparing variants of a given model in my OE price books, additions of Kevlar or Vectran layers add some cost, and addition of nylon layers add almost nothing, indicating the final price is moderately sensitive to casing materials and mildly sensitive to labour. A perfect example is the Schwalbe Super DH: four plies stacked at the base of the casing and it adds about 5€ to the price. Same story for Michelin: three site-specific plies with unique materials, plus flip-up sidewall plies, and they're less expensive than Maxxis DH models with simpler casings. I understand your concern that an advanced casing with the function of a traditional casing plus insert would cost as much as a traditional casing plus insert, but we already have evidence that's not the case.

Most companies already have more sophisticated casings than the traditional design and these are barely more expensive than the light-duty variants with simple, traditional casings. Now we just need to take it further with even stiffer and tougher layers at the base of the casing.
  • 2 1
 @joose: I did some digging. building some jumps. mostly done with a Lilly pad feature.
  • 2 0
 @Spencermon: you're a lucky man, I just look outside and everything has 1/2" of ice or 'x' many feet of snow....and I don't have a fatty.
  • 1 0
 @joose: well, I woke up today and everything frozen again.
  • 69 3
 Hopefully the pretentiousness of owning bikes doesn’t last. A lot of people including my self dont really need majority of these listed. Dropper post and larger cassettes are neccasary but for the everyday guy to need Flight Attendant gtfo
  • 40 0
 I’ve been in the sport since the mid 90’s, pretentiousness of all sorts hasn’t gotten better over time.
  • 12 1
 You hit the nail on the head, pretentiousness. But how will companies make money if they don't convince you to buy and replace a new $6k bike every year
  • 5 0
 @Afterschoolsports: Same, but I'm not sure it's gotten worse either.
  • 8 1
 @Dogl0rd: By attracting many more people to the sport with more less-expensive options
  • 7 0
 @Dogl0rd: Skateboards still sell just fine and have barely changed, still get a nice complete for $150
  • 2 6
flag vinay (Mar 4, 2022 at 11:12) (Below Threshold)
 I'd even go as far as to say you depending on where and how you ride you may not need the dropper and large range cassette either. You need to get the saddle low but you may not need to have it high or you may not need the added quality of adjusting saddle height on the fly. I keep the saddle low for all my riding. If you only raise the saddle on the road to the trailhead or for 30+ minute grinds up a hill a qr lever would do too. I can imagine for marathon racing (or the "trail" equivalent) where you'd want to do some seated pedaling but have/want to keep going that's where on the fly adjustment could add value. Similarly for these big range cassettes. If you're climbing super steep or if you do seated climbing, that's where they come handy. If your climbs are moderately steep and you keep standing, you're usually spinning a lower cadence with a higher torque a mid range (around 40t largest plate) does the job.

And then someone could appreciate the characteristics of the larger negative air chamber over the aforementioned advancements, right? One may not necessarily "need" it but if your going to get a suspension unit anyway, it doesn't hurt if it performs a bit better for your needs.
  • 4 4
 I’m not sure what is pretentious about buying shit for your bike that you don’t actually need. No one in the UK needs 9000 anodized parts on their bike, no one needs electronically controlled suspension, no one needs eewings with a power meter. Who cares if people buy products that lead to more innovation that allow judgmental people like you to benefit from new ideas that are suited for broad market segments?
  • 3 0
 @vinay: Absolutely right with the large cassete part. Where I ride mainly in Wales, most of the trails have technical climbing followed by a short bursty descent, so droppers are needed, but those stood-up climbs are much easier on my 11-42 tooth than a maxed out 50 tooth.
  • 2 0
 @Dogl0rd: Not following trends like the crowd. Do what’s best for you in your situation dawg
  • 4 0
 @Mntneer: show up to the North shore on a bike from 2010 and I’ll show you pretentious dude. A lot of snobs look
  • 3 0
 @Jaib06: @vinay agreed. What ever works for you in your situation. I ride a clash 10 speed and keep up with my buddies if not lead and they all got 12. I like the extra t torque because I climb in burst for most steep terrain
  • 6 0
 @Dogl0rd:
Agreed. Remember when we all clutched our pearls when bikes first dipped into the 6k range? Now, with Bikes exceeding 10-12k, are 6k rigs now considered mid level? I have a basic understanding of economics, price /demand, cost of R n D and tech advancement in our sport, as well as the current supply/chain struggles (which I hope subside in the near future.) Yet, I still suffer from a severe case of "Hi Brow" as we see the term "FINANCING AVAILABLE" regularly on bike adds.
Nevertheless, cheers everyone and no matter what you ride and no matter what you spent on it, remember, it's Friday and let's go ride them damn bikes and get your $$ worth out of em!
  • 7 0
 @Blindbobby: True, but cheaper bikes still exist, and $6K in 2000 is just shy of $10K now. Inflation is serious business and you're old (and so am I)!

If we look at a $4K bike - which isn't cheap, but it's attainable to many people - a B-to-C brand can offer a hell of a good bike with an aluminum frame, Deore components, and top-level dampers. A $19,999 S-Works Founder's Edition may exist, but you don't have to buy it. As @Mntneer said, let someone else fund the R&D and you'll get most of the benefits a couple years later at a fraction of the price.
  • 6 0
 @R-M-R: Agreed. I think the issue comes when people either start putting basically plastic components (I'm looking at your Sram SX) on 3-4k bikes, or when the aforementioned excellent Deore is on bikes upwards of 5k.

There are definitely brands like you said, offering a solid build for 3-4k, but there are an equal, if not higher amount brands also just downright yanking money out of peoples pockets for an awful value bike.
  • 7 0
 @Jaib06: Agreed. Sub-par items like SX / NX or mediocre dampers on expensive bikes are not cool. At least Deore and GRIP are pretty good, freeing product managers to add value elsewhere or keep the price down.

This opens a broader discussion of the bike sales model. My feeling is the traditional model of retailers with a large footprint and large inventory will fade away. I feel shops can become smaller and serve as display and demo centres - plus service & repair as usual, of course - and new bikes can be ordered directly from the manufacturer. Any sale facilitated by a shop would generate a substantial commission and the customer can choose whether to receive the bike in a box or pay the shop for varying levels of assembly, custom fit, etc. A hybrid B-to-C model would reduce capital and overhead for the shop and would reduce the gap between B-to-B and B-to-C pricing.
  • 2 0
 @R-M-R:
Well said. Particularly the me being old part... Cheers
  • 2 0
 @R-M-R: Very well put. I think you're definitely onto something there. Big brand name shops are certainly fading away, but will never disappear, in the same vein as to how D to C will never completely take over. I think having a demo centre or in a affect a "display cabinet" would be more affective.
  • 1 2
 Not for everyday guy's budget, but i'm loving my flight attendant, and loved the live valve just as much.
  • 6 0
 @Jaib06: There was a time when shops could order bikes on credit from the factory and hope to sell them before payment was due. The shop didn't have to come up with a mountain of cash to place their order, but there was still risk of running out of stock or being on the hook for unsold merchandise - not to mention requiring a huge shop to hold all that inventory. Shop owners can correct me if I'm misinformed, but I've heard this factory credit policy is tighter than it used to be, and often available only to the most successful shops.

The costly overheads of a large shop and the uneven cash flow of an annual purchasing cycle are difficult for bike shops. Both can be eliminated. As you said, a few large, traditional shops may persist, but it's inevitable for more efficient business models to take over. We've already reached a point where I can buy a small component or complete bike online and have it arrive 24 - 48 hours later for less than buying it in a shop. Service and repair can't be delivered in a box on my doorstep, an online bike fit and set-up will never be perfect, and I can't experience the way the bike rides via a couple mouse clicks. Shops need to focus on the things that can only be done in person, and they need to stop wasting their - and our - money on things other vendors can do for less.

To take things a step further, component companies should also consider selling B-to-C. For example, The Hayes Group (Hayes, Manitou, ProTaper, Sun-Ringlé, Reynolds, etc.) has only a tiny market share - especially OE - despite making great products. I'll bet more people would be buying Dominions or Mezzers if the prices dropped by half.
  • 1 0
 @Mntneer: exactly.....we did not need to go to the moon....but we did. And now we all can reap the benifits of a pen that writes upside down and underwater. Lol
  • 1 0
 @vinay: Yeah but are you only riding bmx tracks?
  • 2 0
 @R-M-R: Bike purchasing terms have never been good. The more you buy and the earlier you commit (pre season ordering, they love that but it can really suck for a shop) the more time you have to pay off. For most small/med size shops the terms are net 90, meaning all paid off in 3 mos, starting the first month. And margins (profit) has always sucked, too, despite what people that don’t have a clue seem to believe. Average is about 20-30% and that’s if you sell full retail price which is rare (when bikes are available) because people always e expect a deal.

And not many shops can make it on labor and tire levers alone, so that’s not feasible. Maybe if you’re in a resort-ish town or larger city but that’s about it.
  • 2 0
 @R-M-R: Personally having ridden the Dominions A4 they are more than worth the price when compared to what the others brands offer in the same price range.

On the other hand you're totally correct in how bike manufacturers are treating their local dealers. My shop (which is very reputable and popular in our tri-state area) was forced to pay cash in advance for this year's bike order almost eliminating his company savings just to have bikes on the floor in the shop, whenever the end up showing up.
  • 1 0
 @mr-moose: Nah, I keep the BMX exclusively for the pumptrack but the mountainbike is for playing in the woods. The bike just comes more alive when you stand up so that's how I like to ride.
  • 2 0
 @R-M-R: Hit the nail on the head there. Shops to need to focus on doing only what shops can do best. Any old Joe can buy a component online, but only a shop can help you fix said component or fit it.
  • 1 0
 @lifeofloon: Dominions, Mezzers, Maras, their whole handlebar line - many Hayes Group products are among the best on the market and are already priced on par with their competitors, yet sales are weak. My points is they're especially well positioned to reduce their prices and increase margins via a B-to-C model. Category leaders (ex. SRAM & RF-Fox) may not want to disrupt their already successful business models, but a company making great products, with decent name recognition, yet still getting little market share is in a great position to do so.

@emptybe-er: Most shops I've spoken to make more on service than sales. I suspect margins could increase if they cut their staff and floor space to a fraction of the size currently required and still made money from commissions on bikes that didn't have to occupy floor space. Please let me know if you're a shop owner or manager and that doesn't line up with your experience, though.
  • 43 4
 where is SWAT systems and integrated storage?
Droppers are in place for years - they just refining them; 1,2,3,4,5,6 bars actually irrelevant for end users besides amount of bearings to service;

high pivot comeback from the late 90's, will disappear in few years;

However I can see next 5 years will be focused on bikes, rather then refining existing ones;
  • 12 0
 Integrated storage is definitely in my top 3 qualities for my next bike. It's such a game changer to just leave a "hopefully never have to use" kit in there and just leave the house.
  • 2 1
 @Jaib06: I have trek slash it’s extraordinarily useful
  • 1 0
 @8tom8: I can imagine! The Slash seems to be the ideal bike for a lot of UK riding, with plenty of climbing capability but can also send it down the uplift rides.
  • 1 0
 @8tom8: I'm hoping for frame storage in the next remedy
  • 2 0
 @DanielP07: I think that's almost guaranteed in my opinion, I think Trek looking forward is definitely going to run with the fact that they're one of only 2 major manufacturers with built in storage.
  • 2 0
 Didn't release how much I love the storage on my Trek Slash. Eliminated riding with a pack on rides under 1:30 minutes. I have everything I need, water, tube, tools and snacks either in my pocket or on the bike.
  • 2 0
 @Jaib06: yes I wouldn’t say it’s a quick climber but it’s very comfortable
  • 29 3
 what about a motor in the frame to help pedalling? will that be the most common technologies?
  • 40 7
 About 50% of the riders at my home trails are cheat..…uh…..ebikes.
  • 39 11
 motorbikes have been around for a long time. just the reframing as bicycles to skip regulations is new.
  • 24 1
 If someone can figure out a lightweight, reliable, wide-range 2-speed front gearbox/planetary that can install on a normal frame I’d happily go back to small cassettes.

You get a shorter chain and shorter jockey pulley arm which improves chain retention and ground clearance, lighter and hopefully cheaper to manufacture cassettes (looking at you, SRAM) that don’t “need” a 10t cog and therefore a proprietary freehub body, and get tighter gear spacing for a given number of cogs to go with it.
  • 14 0
 Bring back hammerschmidt! It was a very promising approach to things and a natural step on the path to full gearbox bikes.
  • 6 1
 The Shimano HG freehub body worked well for decades, but only horseshoe crabs endure forever. Freehub bodies that don't fully pass through the cassette solve a lot of problems with minimal downside. Embrace it, run a smaller chainring, and free yourself of the tyranny of large cassettes and ground-scraping derailleurs! While we're on the subject of better freebodies, the mistake of XD was to maintain a small diameter. Kappius was correct about using the available volume of the cassette to make a better system.
  • 2 0
 @Afterschoolsports: I still have hammerschidt, off the bike, and will never put on, efficiency and weight was horrible.

But it could be quite good on ebike.
  • 1 1
 @Afterschoolsports: Never knew this was a thing, and like you've said, it looks incredibly promising, a completely different way of looking at shifting. But as @stpan has said below, as have reviewers on other sites, it seemed to not quite hit the mark, definitely something worth looking at again should an smaller manufacturers fancy a stab at it.
  • 13 0
 The short cage 10spd Shimano Zee derailleur was probably the best for buck bike component ever
  • 2 0
 @Jaib06: it was heavy, but the weights in the best place possible. It was super draggy (in the multiplied gear, in the natural gear it felt fine) and that’s what killed it for me. Sucks, because usage of the hammerschmidt was amazing shifting stopped, coasting or backpedaling, in the middle of your pedal stroke, it was an awesome thing.
But the drag made it feel like 3 gears slower than it should’ve been at any given time
  • 3 2
 I run a custom 10sp, 11-39 rear cassette with 12sp shift spacing. Losing the top two cogs makes it lighter than XTR. Perfect ratios for an enduro bike. Never going back.
  • 1 1
 @fewnofrwgijn: Ah that sucks, yeah what I read basically backed that up, saying that it was just too draggy, definitely some genius in a workshop could do something about that though, might be worth looking at for someone like Intend, or any other small manufacturer for that matter.
  • 1 0
 @Linc: That sounds really interesting, what sort of set up in whole are you running? What chainring?
  • 4 1
 @Jaib06: find the lowest weight 12sp 11-52 Suntour cassette you can with HG body. Grind off the top two rings. The third ring is 39t. Run mid cage 9100 XTR. 34t up front. You’ve got a light. Compact set up with nice tight chain line.

No silly dinner plate or floppy enormous derailleur.

Until someone makes a tight range 12-sp cassette, and it infuriating that they don’t, this is the only way.
  • 4 0
 @Linc: Wow, 34 up front? You've got bigger legs than me! Wondering whether that same setup would work with the Zee 10 speed?

Very interested in doing something similar now, cheers for the ideas!

Currently running an 11-42 11 speed with a 32 up front and that seems to stay out of the way most of the time...
  • 3 0
 @Jaib06: The Zee short cage derailleur only has 25t capacity, so it won't play nicely with an 11-39 cassette. It was designed for 11-36. It the shifting should be fine, though. I use a 10-speed XT shifter with a 12-speed Deore derailleur and it works well so I don't see why you couldn't go the other way.

I like the idea of a 10-speed cassette using 12-speed spacing. If this became a thing you could space out the drive side hub flange and really help balance the spoke tension.
  • 2 0
 @melanthius: "I like the idea of a 10-speed cassette using 12-speed spacing. If this became a thing you could space out the drive side hub flange and really help balance the spoke tension."

Exactly! I'd even be okay with 9-speed.
  • 3 0
 @R-M-R @melanthius Shimano announced exactly this set up with a special wider xtr hub and 12sp spaced 11 cog rear cassette with the launch of their 9100 group. Never made it to production beyond a few pro bikes. Massive missed opportunity, but big cog marketing wins…
  • 4 0
 @Linc: 34-39 is steep even for a 26" enduro bike,let alone 27,5 or 29.
If it works for you, great.
  • 5 1
 @Linc: I was super excited about the 11-speed Scylence hub!

• 11 sp, with lighter cassette
• 45 T max
• Compact derailleur
• Better wheel geometry
• Silent, zero drag hub at half the weight of other silent hubs

It was almost enough to forgive the creation of Micro Spline!
  • 14 1
 Masters XC racer here. I jumped on 10-50 cassettes when they came out. Loved 'em. A few years ago I talked to my 'coach' about why I was losing power towards the end of XC races. He suggested the easier gearing was making me weaker. As an experiment, I reverted to 11 speed 10-42 on my XC and enduro bikes and now I am going faster in races than I was a few years ago. It took my legs about two years to get back up to speed/power. I know this is Pinkbike and few care about racing XC, but I thought some people may find my predicament and solution interesting, especially as I am now 50 years of age and should be slower than I was at 47/48. My XCC game has improved dramatically too.
  • 6 1
 @iamamodel: interesting. I also think the big cassette thing is skill based. Lots of riders sit and spin a big gear through technical climbs because maintaining a harder gear and standing up, without losing traction and staying on line takes more bike skill to get right.
  • 3 0
 @Linc: Well, of course I'm going to agree with you on that because I have the mad skillz. But seriously, I do notice sometimes there's a bit more upper body-English involved because I am trying to keep traction, there's a bit more finesse pushing on the pedals. I notice I now have to get momentum before the obstacle and unweight to get over it instead of spinning up it in the 50 like I used to. It's a two-edged sword in that way - I now need the power to get up things, the power I didn't have or need two years ago - that's the downside.
  • 3 0
 @Linc: you know shimano makes a 10-45 cassette right? Like, the one that is designed to match that mid cage derailleur you are running. It's all the benefits of what you are running but with an extra gear top and bottom.
I run a 10-45 with 34t ring.
  • 2 0
 @JamesR2026: my set up is lighter and cheaper. But also, they don’t make a microspline freehub body for the hubs I use.
  • 2 0
 @Afterschoolsports: I rode with HammerSchmidt for 5 years on my first real full squish. The thing was amazing. I haven't serviced it at all cuz I didn't know I have to ( and the whole bike as well... it was very beaten up by the time I sold it ). Then I opened it after 5 years and all that was wrong is just some dirt inside. Cleaned with a rag, squirted fresh ParkTool cheapest grease inside and the things were singing again. Also, it didn't require bash guard and I bashed the shit out of it. I also got an incredible gear range on 9 speeds bike from 2010. Was it worth 500 bucks... prob not... but I am surprised it didn't break after what I put it through.


www.pinkbike.com/photo/20764068
  • 22 3
 Ten years from now, has world war 3 already finished by then? Otherwise I say:
. bulletproof tires
. rifle storage
. lead shields (to protect from nuclear radiation)
. dropper seatpost that actually pushes you underground (instead of pops you up) to help you take shelter in case of air strikes
. ...

A few months ago, people might have considered this more funny.
  • 19 2
 It’s funny, but only because history repeats itself and only younger folks fail to see the pattern.

Every few decades, same shit, same players, same outcome.

Humans are stoopid.

Maybe if everyone just rode bikes ….
  • 5 0
 @nurseben: You, my friend, have a talent for understatement.
  • 3 11
flag emptybe-er (Mar 4, 2022 at 10:32) (Below Threshold)
 I’m not sure if it’s the timing or the complete lack of wit. Do you have another joke for reference? No googling.
  • 9 1
 We have so much unnecessary crap around us. Our politicians stuff us with these sweet toys so that we are preoccupied with something else than watching what their hands are doing. There’s a lot to improve. But at the same time… many people from outside want that and it is their effing dictators who believe they have all the answers. When I was 17 or so one kid had an amazing MTB, red Cannondale fully. It was 1998ish in Poland. My parents could barely buy me a rigid Diamond Back on altus and vbrakes. We drove to Italy to buy it in a fricking Lada Samara. I wanted a bike like that canny… but at this time Russia was a failed economy, where people lived below poverty level. A lot has changed. We all want nice bikes. Not a tyrant taking everything away from everybody.
  • 17 2
 I realise the comments section is full of world-class athletes who can ride a singlespeed all day long up 25% inclines. Many of you might think that a 52-tooth bottom gear is totally unnecessary, but science says otherwise.

COMMENT GOLD
  • 4 2
 While the science numbers no doubt check out, holding 7kph would only be relevant on fire roads, what about actual trails? I'm still running 11-36 with 30/32t on a couple of bikes and have no issues. Also the 10s cassettes are lighter, last longer shift nicer and are cheaper.
  • 2 0
 Oh yeah, Seb?! Well, [INSERT MANDATORY OUTSIDE+ INSULT HERE]!
  • 15 0
 For all the complexity most people I see don't know how to properly set up their suspension nor get it serviced often enough. And then they keep buying new stuff or these incredibly expensive aftermarket upgrades. Suspension and seatpost should be serviced every year, maybe more. And most people could do for a professional setup-tune. You paid for all that stuff, it should at least work well.
  • 19 0
 In and out bleed ports on suspension and droppers, like we have on brakes.

Before anyone points out the larger diameters will make it difficult to perfectly flush all the old oil: for most people, the alternative is to never flush the old oil, so an imperfect flush is still a lot better. Anyone who cares that much can still disassemble it.
  • 7 0
 @R-M-R: This would be hugely beneficial. I service enough suspension that falls on the extremes to know it would help everybody. It seems the dampers I service are either WAY too far gone, or the oil is just starting to degrade but all the seals and bushings would last far longer and could get by easily with a fluid refresh.

I can do this with a partial teardown, but if it was fully external, DIYer types would be better positioned. Top Comment.
  • 2 0
 @hotpotato: I like this idea. I’m curious, and maybe one of you has the experience to answer: would more frequent flushing make the seals last longer?

I was under the impression that age-related cold-set was the reason for full rebuilds every year.

Changing oil is easy, but full disassembly and reassembly to replace every tiny f-ing o-ring in a damper is annoying.
  • 3 0
 @melanthius: My experience has been that seals and other "consumables" usually stay in good condition until the bath oil is completely gone, at which point wear is extremely rapid.
  • 2 0
 @R-M-R: Genius.

Similarly, I have taken out the valve core on air shocks and put in a little thinner oil (10 wt off the top of my head) without doing a full service. Works well.
  • 1 0
 @melanthius: If the oil could be refreshed more regularly, it would definitely prolong the life of the seals. Usually the oil goes first, then that accelerates the seal wear. Heat destroys oil much faster than raw contamination also.
  • 13 1
 I hope we call off the competition to make all trail bikes in to short travel downhill bikes. 6 bar has some potential despite maintenance woes. But, if we keep chasing big bike riding characteristics people are going to start wondering, if it rides like a big bike, weighs like a big bike, but doesn't have the travel of a big bike, why not just get a big bike?
  • 3 0
 Yeah we’ll see how 6 bar holds up after yeti extends it to their other bikes. Expensive and higher maintenance so their customer base will love it.
  • 1 0
 @WasatchEnduro: If I'm not mistaken, it seems like their six-bar design was designed to provide similar kinematics to their SI sliding system. I can't tell if that's due to the motor taking up the space where the sliders go on their regular bikes, or if they believe the six-bar setup will result in lower maintenance costs/frequency compared to the SI design. If it is the former though, I'm not so sure they'll ditch the SI system on their next-gen bikes.
  • 6 0
 exactly this! I sold my last enduro bike because i wanted something that was more trail orientated, better on the pedals, great for steep tech, and didn't encourage me to ride like i was actually on a DH bike, a Few big crashes reminding me im not racing and not on a downhill bike. i had plans of getting a stumpy Evo - it seemed like the ideal all rounder, but as i was mainly looking at a frame swap that wasnt an option. The next idea i had was a forbidden Druid, it looked promising with the hype around high pivot and the rear travel would have been roughly the sweetspot. Somehow the store convinced me that id forever be undergunned on the druid and i walked out the door with a dreadnought frame I figured its only 154mm and carbon thats a step back from my 161. After having owned the thing for about 4.5 months i cant help but be annoyed at myself for buying this bike, its an incredible bike, but honestly it feels like a downhill bike i can pedal and the size of the thing is excessive, yet i fall into the middle of the large sizing, the fun derrived from these bikes truly seems to come when riding as fast as possible, and if youre not riding wide open fast trails then its not the bike for the time. Im now considering selling the complete bike, buying a propain hugene and looking online for a second hand commencal clash for bike park and shuttle days for exactly the reasons youve said. i might also note that during the time ive owned it, the funnest days Ive had riding at on my meta HT riding steep tech in torrential rain, the short rear end and 40mm shorter reach make manouverability and creative line choice easy and fun.
  • 2 0
 Personally, I love the competition to build enduro/AM bikes that behave on the climbs and demolish descents. My current 170mm enduro bike climbs as well, if not better, than my previous 150mm and 155mm bikes. It also happens to be arguably better on both rough trails and park days than my old 200mm DH sled.

The changes can seem incremental year-over-year. But a decade on from my first ever "all mountain" and "downhill" bike purchases, and bikes are a lot better than they used to be.
  • 4 0
 It’s funny though because these high travel enduro bikes are not even close. I got one to avoid having to get a big bike and now I just have a big bike and a high travel enduro because nothing is even close to a big bike.
  • 4 0
 @KJP1230: incrementally they are getting closer and closer to that DH bike though, go now and jump on a modern 150mm trail bike and you’ll see how far you’ve gone.

You can’t have the best of both worlds in one platform as much as I wish we could
  • 1 0
 @big-red:

yeah it totally was. can’t fit a SI in a frame with a motor down there.

I really like the SI it rides great so it’ll be interesting to see if they roll this more complicated design out further if there are any performance gains there (prob not) or keep it moped specific. despite how great the yeti design is I’m just a little turned off by their pricing and what I perceive to be a higher maintenance frame whilst also not fully trusting their carbon frame durability.
  • 11 0
 A bike should have a maximum of one battery, on the gps/fitness tracker. The rest are completely unnecessary and serve only to part a fool from their money. Lights don’t count because you should be buying multipurpose torches that can be mounted well on your bike/helmet and used off it as a regular torch.

IMHO in ten years time we will all be riding 11speed linkglide style drivetrains with 10-51/2 cassettes.
  • 6 0
 Something else I would like to see is brakes easier to service. The standard bleed port that hope (and motorcycles) use makes life so much easier than messing about with syringes and catheter plumbing.
  • 1 2
 Also let’s see more sweep and rise in bars. 25mm rise and 7 degrees of sweep is suitable for next to nobody.
  • 1 0
 I would hope that in 10 years time we are all riding something like Kindernay 10 speeds with a 500% spread.

But people tell me physics might have something to say about that....
  • 12 1
 I’d take a two speed crank, then a smaller cassette would make more sense, that said, my Shimano 12sp pie plate works just fine.

Perhaps designing longer travel bikes around a 28/30 chainring, this wouldn’t hurt anyone, but it would improve kinematics for folks running small chainrings for big climbing.

The authors also missed SHORTER CRANKS.

I think short cranks are going to be more common.
  • 9 1
 "I’d take a two speed crank, then a smaller cassette would make more sense, that said, my Shimano 12sp pie plate works just fine."

Wait until you find out how much you can reduce the cassette if you use three chainrings!


"Perhaps designing longer travel bikes around a 28/30 chainring, this wouldn’t hurt anyone, but it would improve kinematics for folks running small chainrings for big climbing."

You're not wrong, but bikes "designed" for 32 T chainrings already range from 15% to 202% for a constant cassette sprocket, constant centre of mass, and constant sag. If we look at it across the whole cassette, even with a constant sag, we're looking at about -50% to +500%. If we combine that with the full range of travel, you can double that spread. Of course, the outliers are from small companies that don't know what they're doing, but even the more respected companies have a range of 64% to 176% for a constant sprocket, centre of mass, and sag, so a change of a few percent due to a change in drive sprocket size isn't as big a deal as it seems.


"SHORTER CRANKS"

Absolutely, especially for shorter riders. We could extend this idea to more proportionate sizing. Wheels, tires, bar width, saddle shape, rear-centre length, BB height ... everything. The premium people spend on posh materials, electronic controls, electronic suspension, etc. would often have a higher return on investment if spent on fully customized sizing, especially for folks on the pointy ends of the bell curve.
  • 5 0
 I like the short crank point. I'm on 170s after my whole life on 175 ('cause that's what bikes came with), and I'd have gone shorter if I'd been able to source some when I did my build.
  • 2 0
 Shorter cranks and big cassettes work together because they both affect overall gear ratio.
However while we need bigger cassettes to work with short cranks, mullet bikes work in the other direction, letting us run smaller cogs.
Prediction: Mullet bikes AND short cranks will become normal, cancelling each other out, and we won't end up needing bigger rings.
  • 2 0
 @nurseben YES, shorter cranks! But regaining a front derailleur? That's blasphemy I want you never to utter again. Thanks.
  • 5 0
 YES to designing for 30t chairing as baseline, with room to run 28t or 32t

I’d like to see a move back to 11 cogs, while keeping derailleur cages shorter than 12 speed now requires.
I’ve owned (and racked up miles on) both GX Eagle and XT 12 speed, and while I love the easy climbing gear, there are real trade offs in reliability and durability compared to the XT and XO1 11 speed systems I’ve also spent years riding.

Example of what I want: 11 speed 10-48 cassette with 28t or 30t chainring. Quality in-line with mechanical XT and XO1

__

I’m happy to be done with front derailleurs, and internal shifting cranks like Hammershmit (sp??) added weight, drag, and complexity that I don’t think we need. But mostly I like the simplicity of not having to keep track of what chainring I’m in. That part of my brain is now thinking about my dropper post, and I want to keep things that way.

__

I agree internal storage belongs on this list

Perhaps the biggest thing I want to see… and it’s hard to quantify and get folks excited about- is just refinement.

As an example- my newest bike has a simple single pivot rear suspension with room for 2 water bottles and tool storage. It’s light, the geometry is great, and everything just feels like its executed better than it was a similar bike I owned 4 years ago. Things like the UDH, better pivot hardware, and more refined suspension all add up to a better product.



IN acknowledgment of my username… yes I also love my SS. But that’s not what this article is about.
  • 11 2
 I can’t honestly think of a single bike related thing that I wish I would have. Not only this. I don’t mind buying a bike from 2018 in good condition. 32” wheels is the last thing missing for folks looking for XL/XXL sizes for XC, DC, trail.
  • 3 1
 Some 32”s for us tall folks would be sweet to try!
  • 9 2
 Seems that bikes are in a similar phase guitars passed thru during the 80's. In that time, you saw incredible experimentation and innovation to what were decades old designs - things like headstock-less guitars (no tuning pegs at the end of the guitar neck), locking floating tremolo systems, onboard effects processors, maximum ergonomic body shapes, etc. - it got kinda nutz. All that stuff never took hold, and things pretty much went back to normal, albeit with much better construction techniques, better materials, finer evolution of tried and true tech.....We're kinda seeing the same thing now. Do my 54 year old knees really want to squat down a 200mm dropper? hell no...... And six bar linkages on eebs? nobody is racing World Cups on these things so why bother (dirt bikes have very simple linkages, and I predict mtb's will eventually sort out the same).....sometimes you gotta go waaaaay out there to come back to the sensible center. My 2 cents.
  • 7 0
 It would be nice to see low end forks coming closer in weight and performance to decent forks. Only because entry level bikes suffer from boat anchor junk that really makes getting started in the sport a slog of misery. Also More decent tires at lower price point. Cst has been doing this for years and bad tires are just mean to put on a starter bike.

A decent hardtail with basic (not dangerous or worthless)spec at 1k should be a common option
  • 5 0
 I agree that tyres are bloody expensive. I can't fathom how a MTB tyre can cost the same as a car tyre, even if it isn't a high-performance car tyre, it's still got all the materials and the strength to do 180 kph and hit a gutter without exploding.
  • 2 0
 @iamamodel: mtb tire market is tiny (and that may be a vast understatement) compared to standard car tire market, so there's that
  • 7 1
 I've said this several times over the past year, but I'm really going to find time to create a remote lockout thats $200 or less. I feel there is a good market for it with the explosion of high school XC racing (the local high schools here have teams with over a 100 members, its nuts).

All it needs to do is pair with a power meter (getting very common in XC) over ANT+ and you set the lockout threshold for when you're pedaling, and maybe an accelerometer to measure the incline/decline. Thats it. You're on flat or any incline at all, and you're pedalling over 150 watts? Lockout. Leave open in all other conditions, or whatever threshold you set. Thats it.

My problem is I'm trying to get a batch of frames manufactured, and they've been stuck in COVID hell the past year in East Asia, so I need to get those finished first...
  • 7 13
flag nurseben (Mar 4, 2022 at 10:03) (Below Threshold)
 No one needs a lockout, it’s a bandaid, instead you need to set up your suspension correctly.

If you need a lockout, you should just ride rigid.
  • 5 0
 On anything but a perfectly smooth surface, locked out bikes are slower. The minimal power loss of a little pedal bob is completely lost when a rear tire slips or hangs up just once or twice under load.
  • 1 0
 Sorry-meant to say minimal power gain
  • 6 0
 @nurseben @wyorider I didn't say there is a "need", or "significant power gain", I said there is a market for it!
  • 2 0
 Props dude, I've never considered controlling lockout based on power output but that's super clever. I've never had any interest in electronic suspension but I'm genuinely curious to try that out and see what it feels like.
  • 8 0
 @nurseben:
No one needs two wheels, it’s a bandaid, instead you need to set up your unicycle correctly.

If you need a second wheel, you should just drive a car. Or even a train.
  • 1 1
 @hamncheez: so meeting a market need despite engineering inferiority/lack of necessity.

yay
  • 1 0
 Just having an electronic remote lockout with a blip button would be nice. No need to get super fancy.
  • 2 0
 @preston67: I've thought about that too, and making it brand-agnostic. It could just pull the lockout cable on your existing shock and not cost $500 or whatever Fox charges nowadays. But ironically, from an electrical engineer perspective, it would be just as hard to prototype and manufacture.


So I would need to track down the source, but when Shimano released their Di2, they said in their testing their XC racers shifted gears like 50% more frequently than with a mechanical XTR, and they were X% more often in their optimal cadence. When you're gasping for air and it feels like your eyeballs are going to fall out, something as simple as pushing a mechanical lever just doesn't seem as easy as pushing an electronic button. If your shock auto locked/unlocked, I could see that as a mental advantage when you're already giving every last piece of effort into cresting a climb.
  • 2 0
 I think the article on Flight Attendant mentioned the possibility of exactly such a system in the works (at a much lower price than their current system)… It also sounds a bit like the systems Lapierre has used, but a lot more affordable.
I completely agree that this is a great idea, and one of the only places where I think batteries on bikes sounds justifiable. (Especially if you can still control the shock and fork manually if the battery / system dies)

Your ideas for implementation sound good as well. So many folks on PB forget how different the culture / needs of the XC racer are compared to everyone else. If you’ve ever lost a race by a bike length during a final sprint, a lockout is very compelling.
__

Best of luck on your frames!
  • 5 0
 I go back and forth on tire inserts - I love em, then I try another wheelset without them and it feels a bit sportier. Then I read articles of top EWS guys who don't use em and don't flat which tells me I probably don't NEED them with the right tires.....
  • 6 1
 I got caught up in the hype and put some in a couple years ago. After a while I just felt like my wheels were heavy. Pulled them out and never looked back. As long as I keep an eye on my air pressure, I don’t seem to have any issues. And I’m not running excessively high pressures either. Although if I lived somewhere with much rougher trails I might reconsider.
  • 5 0
 Rear insert in a light (Exo) tire has been the ticket for me. It feels sporty on the climbs compared to a DD or DH casing tire without insert and I can still run low pressure without wrecking rims as often
  • 11 1
 $50-100usd for a pair of foam hoops is a joke. I won’t consider running them until they’re priced more sensibly. The sooner the tyre companies find a way to supersede them, the better.
  • 2 0
 I had cushcore front and rear for awhile. It was amazing when I pulled them out. My bike was so snappy. But, I primarily ride hardtails now and I really like them on hardtails. Haven't ridden them in an FS bike in a long time.
  • 2 0
 I was a holdout but after cracking several carbon rims I gave them a try. Now I'm sold, and honestly mainly for the run-flat advantage. Now I can drop tire pressure without risking rim damage, and if I get a flat I can't fix with with a plug I'll just ride back to the car as is. Honestly with tubeless I'd usually do that anyway, it's just a mess I don't want to deal with on the trail. Probably don't need the front insert for rim protection so much, but I run both so I know I can always limp outta the woods.
  • 3 0
 I will say the EWS guys run pretty firm tire pressure though.
  • 4 1
 Any EWS rider rolling no inserts has their tires rock hard. And isn’t being timed to climb so they can just walk up steep tricky bits.

At lower pressures inserts save rims and ride a little nicer.

If you don’t need them, don’t run them-but they are really helpful when needed.
  • 2 0
 I go back and forth on the advantaged with cush core. I'm giving it up for now. It really doesn't let me run lower pressure. With cushcore and exo+ I have to run around 35 psi in the back for the tires to not feel squirmy when cornering hard. Just mounted a dhr ll DH casing with no insert. I'm excited to try it out. Hopefully be able to run closer to 30-32 psi. We'll see
  • 2 0
 @wyorider: interestingly, moir runs sans inserts w/ pressures @ 25/28 (f/r). i assumed everyone was on inserts for the added security, but works for him it seems.
  • 6 3
 I can't go back to wheels without inserts. It's surprising to me that any Enduro pro isn't using them (many do, including Richie Rude) but then again, they generally don't care about comfort and they're running DH casings which don't flex much.

For me Cushcore + Exo is the ticket. Not too heavy, super supple around 20psi, and no burping or folding when cornering at speed.

Concerns around weight are based on a myth. Wheels are flywheels that store energy, so you're not losing the energy you put in. Lighter wheels feel sportier because they take less energy to get going, but what you don't feel is the fact that they loose it faster as well. It's the same principle that makes 29ers faster. If anything the extra weight provides more stability and helps you get over trail obstacles by applying the flywheel principle. I admit that my bike does feel a little more sluggish with cushcore in, but according to Strava I'm not actually any slower on the climbs. Weight is overemphasized IMO (I am a recovering weight weenie myself); anything that gives me more comfort and traction at the expense of a few hundred grams is well worth it IMHO.
  • 6 0
 @kramerica5000: "Wheels are flywheels that store energy, so you're not losing the energy you put in"

You lose some every time you pull the brakes Smile
  • 2 1
 @kramerica5000: They are flywheels in an ideal state, but the fact you have brakes on your bike shows you that force in does not = force out, you need to re-accelerate those wheel back up. On a steep course I 100% agree, not worth it, but more pedally and flowier courses or when I wanna rip the enduro bike on a trail ride, it's a compromise IMO....

*Edit - @n734535 beat me to the punch on the brake thing
  • 3 0
 @RadBartTaylor @n734535 This is true, but when do you most often using brakes? When you are going downhill, and in that case gravity is working for you, not against you :-)

If you applied brakes when going uphill, then indeed you would be feeling that loss. If you apply brakes on a flat trail then yes you are loosing energy, but probably not so much that you would notice it. Might be a small trade off but I believe the other benefits in traction and comfort are well worth it.
  • 7 0
 Give me a 11-52 range 10sp cassette. It will be lighter, less tempermental, stronger, cheaper and maybe I wont have to grab 3 gears at a time on my trail bike.
  • 3 1
 Get yourself linkglide and enjoy massively increased chain life whilst you’re at it.
  • 2 0
 I think the best was e13's 9-42 10 speed. Perfect range, perfect jump between gears, but shifted like crap because you had to use a Frankenstein setup. Unfortunately, a 42t climbing gear requires a 28 or 26t chainring, and all fullys nowadays optimize their antisquat for 30-32t chainrings...
  • 4 0
 Or a 10-48 with a smaller chainring that can run a shorter cage rear derailleur. I strongly agree that 10-11 speed is preferable to 12 for most riders.
  • 1 0
 @basic-ti-hardtail: I love my adventX 10 speed (on my ti hard tail too), which is 11-48. It would be even better with 10-48...
  • 9 1
 MORE TRAIL BUILDERS. A machine that builds more trails, an app that gets people to dig.
  • 5 0
 be great if that app can convince townspeople to be bike-favorable too. spec that in for me, would ya!?
  • 3 0
 @hotpotato: I appreciate your positive comment dude, keep shredding.
  • 5 0
 Shame on Pinkbike for forgetting to include the absolutely most important mountain bike technology that has ever been invented. The Handlebar mounted winch is an absolute must for getting over slippery roots and rocks or climbing that 20% grade:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZhFg_KTAT0&ab_channel=outsidebrendan
  • 5 0
 One thing I could see is more sizes. Specialized, Trek and Kona each have 6 sizes depending on the bike. I could see the number of sizes going up to 8 to fill more gaps in between sizes. We are paying good money for good bikes, there's no reason why they shouldn't be proportional to our bodies or further refined for the type of riding style we want to use them for.
  • 2 0
 I can tell you have never had senior management/operations ask you for a SKU analysis of your product size curve. Adding a size to a small run (and that's what bikes are in the world of consumer goods) product offering divides the total units you are ordering into smaller chunks which oftentimes increases your costs on frames + tooling along with design/development, all of which decrease margin. And now I'm splitting my buy downward into smaller chunks increasing the risk I stock out of the popular size.
Then you have dealers, who move most of the units for most brands. If I'm Bob the Bike Dealer and in order to carry the SuperSuspendoMullet GX build bike, would I want to have to commit to three units to cover the majority of sizes (MD, LG, XL) or four (MD, MD/LG, LG, XL)? Multiply that across the brands and price points Bob is carrying in his constrained square footage shop to see the knock-on effect. He can carry more sizes of fewer models of bikes, or more variety of bikes across builds/brands. Perfect world of course we'd have super incremental sizing, but it's not easy for brands/bike shops to make that a reality with the volumes of sales we have.
  • 1 0
 @bicycle019: with Specialized releasing their new DTC model do you still think this is far fetched? The shops can carry all the regular sizes normal consumers want and people who are interested in the finest increments and really into bikes like us, and the rest of PinkBike commentors, can order the Large-Extra, instead of settling for the Large thats too small, or the Extra Large that's too big.
  • 8 0
 "Let's imagine you're a 70 kg rider"

I imagine this all the time. My scale likes to imagine another 9kg
  • 12 8
 I think tire inserts are silly. Just offer a better casing for the tire. Hell, I'm sure they could build the tire with the foam already in there, just with less foam because it would be part of the structure. Adding 110g isn't insignificant.
  • 8 1
 Could probably save weight be integrating inserts and tires into one. I like the idea of the tire inserts but the installation and tire changing difficulties keep me away
  • 13 0
 I'd like a 3 insert system with each piece more fiddly than the last, all lashed together with mini bungee cords. Think ethirteen is up for it?
  • 2 0
 Agreed. Definitely a room for growth in tire/casing design.

I think we've got tread patterns and casing toughness figured out, now we need tires that protect rims and themselves from pinches.
  • 4 0
 @mchance: once you get used to it, its not too bad to change a tire in the garage with the insert (first time is admittedly a challenge). A trail side repair would likely be a nightmare though.
  • 6 2
 They're not silly if you ride fast in super rocky areas with lots of square edges. Tire casing won't cut it.
  • 5 2
 Personally I'm pro tire inserts, they mean I can run low pressure without breaking carbon rims, and leave the spare tube at home and still ride out after a bad puncture.

I wouldn't want the insert to be built into the tire-it'd make the tire (a wear item) significantly more expensive, and you'd have to throw out the insert with every fresh pair of shoes.

Inserts as is can be taken out your old worn tire and put in a new one. Buy once, forever reap the benefits.
  • 1 0
 @Grunk: but the rocks will. I see what you did there...
  • 8 2
 Sorry, gotta disagree- I truly think they should be separate.

Given the hilarious amount of choice we have currently in tires (what, 22 different DHR2s? Just in 29") making the insert become an integrated part would only make that worse- at least now you can pick and choose pretty much exactly what you want from a tire, then separately pick and choose exactly what you want from an insert. Inserts all do different things and the insert Maxxis chooses to integrate might be perfect for Silver Star (rim protection above all,) but not great for the Shore (tire support at low pressure, or whatever.)

Point being, integration can be good if you're going for light weight, or aesthetics, or something that cannot be accomplished otherwise- but I want the option to optimize tire and insert independently. Everyone rides differently and will need something different for their own "best," smashing the two together cannot accomplish that.

Not to mention tires being a wear item, and many (most?) inserts being able to live multiple tire-lives means less waste.
  • 1 0
 @VTTyeahyouknowme: Well said.

This past season I had to run inserts and downhill casing (in the rear) to keep from getting flats. IDK if DH rated casings are getting worse so they can lie less about the weight or if the dad bod is getting worse, and therefore more stress on bike parts....
  • 6 2
 The best enduro riders use 50/52 tooth cassettes because it saves their legs between stages. I don't think there's any doubt that it's here to stay.

What could change, however, is having more 52 tooth 10/11 speed options for non-XC riders.
  • 6 0
 You’ll find almost every shimano sponsored rider runs the 10-45 version of the cassette
  • 2 0
 A SLX or XT version of shimano's 1x11, 11-51t would be good. Or get box prime 9
  • 1 0
 @Linc: Moir was just showing off his setup - 50 and 52 tooth depending on the stages.
  • 2 1
 @jayacheess: Nephew, he’s sponsored by SRAM, who don’t make a 12sp mtb cassette less than 50t.
  • 1 1
 @Linc: He very specifically outlines his reasoning for liking the 50 and 52 tooth setup.

Also, lol to the condescending 'nephew' comment. Get a grip, dude. We're just talking bike parts on the internet.
  • 4 0
 You heard about 6 bar linkages?

Yeah sure man, the bike suspension.

Yeah, this is going to blow that right out of the water. Listen to this: 8 bar linkages

Right. Yes. OK, all right. I see where you're going.

Think about it. You walk into a bike store, you see a 6 bar bike sittin' there, there's an 8 bar bike right beside it. Which one are you gonna pick, man?
  • 4 0
 Unless, of course, someone comes up with 10 bar linkages, then you're in trouble, huh?
  • 6 0
 One word. Superwheel. Breaking the laws of thermodynamics never felt so good.
  • 3 0
 These new standards are just as expensive for minimal gain as the current standards: boost, dub, long center and super heavy weight, 29”wheels for everything.

So for me, these new standards are on par with the market driven bike industry of the last five to seven years.
  • 3 0
 Once all the old guys like me become too feeble to ride my local trails anymore, I'm pretty sure those one-wheeled things will take over, or some other electric motor powered thing. Or maybe the kids will just sit at home and fly their drones through the park from their couch. Really feels like the average age of an XC mountain biker around here is about 50. Lots of younger trail runners and hikers, but not enough jumps, berms and drops in my area to bring out kids on bikes - and not enough elevation to build those things. Sad.
  • 3 0
 I think 2012, and 2003 were the golden eras of progress. A lot of the changes now just make bikes more expensive. Let's go to 2012 and look at some ideas...

Narrow-wide chainring: How is this not better in every possible way? It's extreme benefit, with no drawback whatsoever...

Clutches: Extreme extreme benefit with little to no drawback. They aren't even heavier when you look at all the chainguides you can take off. Wayyyyyyy more reliable drivetrain, and overall weight reduction

Flat pedals: Lighter, more ground clearance on down stroke, and lower center of gravity/improved control. Fantastic innovation, massive benefit with no large drawbacks

These are examples of good innovation that I would like to see more of... Absolutely massive benefit with little to no drawback. Modern innovation often has minor benefit, and or large trade offs in my view. I would love to see another golden year! The 1X was great, some modern changes are good, but a lot are gimmicky I think.
  • 5 8
 Clutches and narrow-wide specifically came to solve the problem of 1x. The front derailleur did the job of those two innovations before then. 1x is also one of the most argued over “innovations” in mtb, as it has far less range and less cadence steps, and doesn’t offer anything in performance, just convenience and durability. I love 1x too but to say it was one of the top 5 mtb innovations or something is a bit too far I think
  • 5 0
 @fewnofrwgijn: 1x helped improve suspension kinematics a lot.
  • 6 0
 @fewnofrwgijn: Try running a triple chainring setup out west and riding burly lines at speed. You'll drop your chain on every......single......ride. Clutches came out before 1x, but chain retention on the front rings was still crap since they were tasked with holding and releasing the chain. I went to 1x on a 10 speed drivetrain before 11 and 12 came out just to keep the chain on!!
  • 2 0
 @fewnofrwgijn: Oh to clarify I wouldn't say a 1X has no drawbacks, on XC bikes I think a 2X or 3X can be better, the increased range usually matters more than drivetrain reliability. I think clutches, flats, NWs, etc have no real drawbacks.
  • 1 0
 @fewnofrwgijn: I won’t try to deny whatever experience you’re drawing on, but my front derailleur was an incredibly sorry excuse for a chain retention device. To the point that even as a broke college student racing a cheap hardtail I laid out for XX1 cranks almost as soon as they went on the market. Before I couldn’t ride an a hour at race pace without stopping to put it back on. Could probably count the number of chain drops on one hand since switching to W/N. It’s incredible how much better it is.

@Sayshell: You think XC bikes need MORE range than trail or enduro? Seems like the opposite. To the point most real world XC bikes could get by with a big road cassette. The trails tend to be less extreme grades for one thing - “XC trail” is a pejorative for a reason. Then for a given climbing gradient XC guys will go considerably faster, reducing the need for low gears. And they probably won’t go down as fast either. And even if they did, since they don’t have a picnic at the top and bottom of every lap they’re not nearly as interested in putting down power between corners on a DH, so it doesn’t really matter if they can’t pedal at Mach speeds. They’ll easily gain back the tenth by being fresher on the climb.

The argument against 1X for XC is related to friction due to chain line and that 10t. Also, dinner plates are heavy. I don’t think either of those outweigh the benefits, but they’re there.
  • 4 1
 What I don't get about wide range cassettes is the other end. I understand the appeal of a super low gear for crawling up steep hills. But who except for racers pedaling at 50 km/h uses gears as high as 32:10, say on a 29er trail bike? Anybody not using those high gears could just go for a smaller chainring instead of a bigger cassette.
  • 7 0
 I totally agree. I've been on 11 speed 11-46 with a 30t ring for years now and see no reason to "upgrade." The last two bikes I bought came with 12 speed Beagle, and luckily that stuff is super easy to sell. I stripped it off immediately and "downgraded" to 11 speed XT without a second thought.
  • 2 1
 @martn 32:10 isn't 50 kph on a 29er, it's lucky to be 40.
  • 2 0
 @iamamodel: I'd say that depends on the rider but we don't need to discuss max. cadence. That's not the point. The point is that the trend to grow the cassette range is focusing too much on the (reasonable) need for low gears without asking the question how many riders could do without the lowest gears instead. Now I don't have any statistics of who uses their lowest gear and who doesn't. I'm just proposing some consideration. It's all a quest for a compromise.
The two problems I have with cassettes getting larger and larger are:
1) Cost. Back when I started riding an XT cassette with aluminium spider cost around 50 bucks and that was sort of expensive. Look at how far we have come in the last 20 years.
2) Weight. A few grams aren't the end of the world but weight around the rear hub has quite the effect on bike handling. Try riding a single speed mtb on technical trails to get a feel for that effect. To me personally handling is far more important than being able to sprint at 40 or 50 kph.
  • 2 0
 I'm using it all the time on my 29er trail bike. Maybe not on trails but for general riding it definitely sees lot of use. 32t in front.
  • 3 0
 Here's how someone prints money with a simple innovation: When I put my dropper post up...my bike shock is automatically in Pedal Mode. When its down, its all the way open. It has an override switch...and I can perhaps make some adjustments to how it works/preferences via my phone if need be.

I don't want to wait 10yrs for SRAM/FOX to figure this out with some expensive BS when I could have had this 5yrs ago. (I know someone did this in the past with a big messy cable setup, but this is not that).
  • 1 0
 This has been done by BMC. Integrated dropper that opened/closed compression according to the position of the saddle. Not sure if they still offer that.
  • 3 1
 I absolutely LOVE my 2021 commencal supreme. High pivot is a game changer. However I feel it's only beneficial for DH bikes. I really don't want a high pivot trail bike. At first I was considering selling my specialized Enduro for a forbidden dreadnought but I think I'll hold on to it.
  • 2 0
 Running 8, 9 and 10 spd, 26" and 27.5"wheels, 32 spoke J bend, threaded BB, external, internal headset cups,
external cable routing, No dropper ( only coz there all internal and wont run on my frames )
Aluminium frames, 104 BCD round chainrings, all still works reliably and absolutely no issues with
any off it, easy to maintain work on, no hold ups and still enjoy the ride.

If it doesnt offer reliability durability, easy to maintain with basic tools, cost viable, spare parts available,
improve ride with benefit over what I already have, then theres no point in making a change, I aint a sucker
to marketing.
  • 4 2
 I ride both and riding an ebike is more like riding a motorcycle than a mountain bike why do you think guys from moto backgrounds take to ebikes so readily because we're used to throwing around heavy machinery.. personally when I want to go for a bike ride I don't want a motor on my fukn bike..I want to go mountain biking and when I want to go for a moto ride I grab my "motor"cycle ebikes are not mountain bikes there motorcycles in all sense of the word
  • 3 1
 Average MX bike has around 50hp and weighs around 100kg. It's a whole different beast. I can backflip emtb's as easily as my dh bike but I have no business flipping any MX bikes Big Grin
  • 4 0
 Wheres the shorter cranks option? Ditch those long bastards and do away with pedal strikes on these crazy low BBs that bikes come with these days.
  • 2 0
 Wide range cassettes are great. However, I could'nt get on with the 52t Sram. Jumping from 42t to 52t simply is too much of a cadence change between gears. I ride the lake distict so plenty of "longer" steep climbs. Swapped back out to a 50t in the end.
  • 7 2
 Water bottle cages!!!! More and more water bottle cages!!! Wink
  • 1 0
 Reminds me of how some consumers were refusing to buy certain cars, like BMWs, back in the day due to a lack of good cup holders. Fast-forward to today, there are more cup holders than you know what to do with. I wouldn't be surprised if some cars already have more than 20 cup holders.

As someone who doesn't utilize them to actually hold a beverage, I just wonder about the costs involved in including them. For example, on a bike, a water bottle may come at the expense of long travel dropper compatibility on smaller sizes, due to the seat tube being interrupted by a kink. A hardtail might prevent a seat post from being slammed low due to a water bottle mount bolt on the seat tube. That, or the aesthetics, stiffness, and/or weight might be a bit off due to a down tube's shape being made "droopy" to get a water bottle to fit underneath a shock.
  • 3 1
 Just use a larger diameter, such as the existing Nalgene ⌀3.5".
  • 2 0
 @Varaxis: my car that I do most of my miles in has two cup holders. One fits water bottles and take away cups. The other only fits a tube of hand sanitiser or sunscreen. 90% of my drives are solo and 100% are over 100 miles. It makes a big difference for those 10% of journeys with other people in the car. I will often take my other (less comfortable, more effort to drive, less fuel efficient) vehicle for those trips simply because it has more usable cup holders. Similarly, I don’t ride my long travel bike so much in summer because it doesn’t have a bottle mount and it’s too damn hot to wear a pack comfortably.
  • 4 0
 Preach. If a frame can't fit a full size bottle it's a 100% dealbreaker for me at this point.

I want a full bottle-sized SWAT box. With a bottle cage mount on the hatch, so I can have bottles on my bottles.
  • 2 0
 @bkm303: doesn’t the SJ Evo do this, with a water bladder that fits inside the SWAT cavity?
  • 4 0
 @melanthius: I was mostly joking but that's actually great. I sometimes carry a soft platypus bottle in my fanny pack to refill the regular bottle on my frame. Doesn't take tons of space in the fanny pack, and then it collapses down to nothing once it's empty.
  • 3 0
 @bkm303: Same, except I put the soft bottle in a jersey pocket and drink it first to minimize the time spent with it bouncing around on my back. In the unlikely even I plan ahead, I partially freeze it for the cooling effect.
  • 4 0
 @R-M-R: That's my setup, too. The 1.5L in the fanny pack goes first on rides long enough to need that much water. Then I've got the bottle on the bike full of electrolytes because at that point I'm gonna need 'em.
  • 5 0
 Just wait for PRESS-FIT DROPPER POSTS!
  • 1 0
 I thought the idea around 6 bar was to achieve the desired dynamics, While delivering custom geometry. So that’s probably a reasonable justification, but personally I love a single pivot with lost of brake squat, so what do I know.
  • 2 0
 It's a little bit of everything. You get the anti squat, anti rise and axle paths desired all wrapped into one more expensive, heavy and difficult to maintain package.
  • 2 1
 The suspension feel of Yetis is unique and people who are into it really love it. Six bars is probably the only way to replicate that feel and the same suspension characteristics if you remove the sliding-on-rails Switch Infinity component. I don't love the look or extra weight and complexity, but I do like removing a very tough to clean, friction based element from the suspension system to achieve the same feel.
  • 5 0
 DH tubes were the original tire inserts.
  • 2 1
 How about GPS built into all E-bikes. Hell, there should be a chip or something to track any bike these days. And it should come STOCK! I doubt anyone would argue with a $50-$100 increase to have the ability to track their bike. It seems silly that you can have an e-bike that costs $10,000+ but you can't track it.
  • 1 0
 5.1 w/kg for a 20% ramp is not the same as putting that amount of power for hours like a pro domestic can do.
You also have to consider that those guys have to be able to put that amount of power for several minutes maybe after 4 or 5 hours of racing....not the same as going up a steep climb and then chilling out at the top before going down.
With 360 watts FTP @ 70kg you'll barely make it to a continental team nowadays.
  • 1 0
 @seb-stott, I think automatic suspension (in any form) that works well would be a good thing for the terrain I ride here in the very flat Netherlands. The tracks here tend to be succesions of 5m high bumps that you sprint up because you want to have some speed at the end of the equally short descent so you you can get some air from the little kicker at the bottom. For alpine terrain, they add very little I would say.
  • 2 1
 Are we allowed to add E-Bikes to this list? Are they here to stay? Or... is the profit margin on these bike so large that the industry will pay every sponsored rider to flip and shred an e-bike until we "buy the hype" and believe we need a e-bike to ride the way our favorite pros ride...as though they wouldn't prefer to ride a regular bike if they weren't getting paid to back-flip-360 an e-bike.
  • 2 0
 Seb Scott wrote,

“I realise the comments section is full of world-class athletes who can ride a singlespeed all day long up 25% inclines.”

All day Single speeder here checking in! Thanks for the shout out!
  • 3 0
 " I was dropping it by about 200 mm by preference."

Bollocks. You were dropping it as far as it went, which happened to be 200mm lower than your preferred _height_.
  • 1 0
 On the high pivot perspective, I own two of them. Both in 150mm travel territory.

As far as climbing is concerned, the main factor is weight in the wheels / tyres.

They both pedal well and better than many other comparable travel bikes I've owned. One feels significantly smoother than another but that might well be coil vs air. Who knows?

Descending is very good but mainly driven by suspension set up; coil, sag, tune.

They're just different. Would my next FS bike be HPP? Possibly, possibly not and it depends on geometry / fit and overall ride.

It'll feel like like hype and that they're not better / smoother if they're not set up properly.
  • 1 0
 I'm gonna say it and people are gonna get mad but there's gonna be a point of cassette-range-wideness where it's just people on ebikes and grumpy old heads with a cassette the size of a pizza. They already solved the problem of pedalling being hard.
  • 2 0
 Forgot to add the latest useful innovation in MTB, announced Tuesday and currently in prototype at [BETA MTB: Become a member to unlock this comment and receive other great perks - join Outside+ today].
  • 3 0
 A bike loading droid to put your ebike on the bike rack on uplift days.and a full face helmet mask salbutamol elung pump so you don't even have to bother inhaling anymore.
  • 1 0
 innovations should mainly allow to have more affordable quality parts. We don't need electric drivetrains if it doesn't lead to cheaper mechanical shifting system, I don't understand why for instance a SLX or XT derailler is more expensive now than 2 or 3 years ago Same for fork cartridges, shocks ...
  • 1 0
 Cringe to read :
- feels drag in idler pulley... (oh please)
- feels CRR increase in thicker casing vs lighter + insert
- doesn't understand gearing so wants more cassette range

Odd how mtbikers have really good common sense but sometimes want to stick to something (like the need for a 32-10)
  • 1 0
 How about more gearboxes? I'm not interested in most of that list I just want my bike to work better for longer in all weather's. Bikes nowadays are pretty awesome so it's time to reign in the amount of standards and sort the last remaining major flaw-the exposed drivetrain.
  • 1 0
 One innovation I would LOVE - Make the Specialized Levo (or any other E-assist bike) lighter weight so a 67-year-old woman like me can lift it over those annoying gates put in place on trails to keep out BMX and Motocross people who still manage to find ways around them. My bike is 50 pounds now. 25 would be so much more manageable.
  • 4 0
 I don't understand it, therefore I'm aggressively against it.
  • 5 0
 Hey that’s me! Cool
  • 2 0
 I feel like we will always have electronically controlled everything because it sells and companies will find ways to keep it new and interesting and sell more of it.
  • 4 0
 Definitely don’t need electric motorcycles
  • 4 0
 Article title asks totally different question than actual poll.
  • 5 5
 MTB PEEPS!!! DON'T let anyone PAID to advertise MTB products tell you what parts to use & how to ride them... The only reason you need high cadences in low gears is if - maybe - you're racing... High cadence is for maintaining a relatively fast pace, whilst low cadence is for power stuff like riding up hills... NO ONE IN THEIR RIGHT MINDS will attempt to maintain a 'sprinting(fast)pace' when doing intensive things like doing squats - they adopt a relaxed controllable pace in order to avoid unnecessary stress to their body & cardiovascular system... & the only reason why a rider would need such low gear, has to do with the fact that they aren't embracing the fitness aspect of cycling & building leg muscles through a proper, PRACTICAL riding technique... I have ridden up insanely steep hills with a 22T ring & 28T cog(.79 of a 26x2.1 wheel rotation), & YOU CAN TOO - as long as you put in the effort to RIDE PROPERLY(PRACTICALLY, SENSIBLY)& BUILD YOUR LEG MUSCLES... DON"T BE MANIPULATED into buying unnecessary overpriced products...
  • 5 0
 I read this like it was a late-night infomercial.
  • 1 0
 Speedwork is very much a thing in weight lifting, and is probably most beneficial while squatting. Weight training is all about exposure to excessive stress.
  • 1 2
 @RonSauce: My 1st point is, because a rider is under stress equivalent to that of lifting a heavy weight, the rider should be taking his time using a slow cadence & not a fast one - which is more suited to maintaining a steady pace on a flat surface(which doesn't require as much strength\torque\stress\strain - as evident by there being no need for a granny gear)... My 2nd point is, if riders practice same(& something else), riders will develop stronger leg muscles which naturally negate the need for super granny gears(as well as make riders stronger & healthier)... >.>
  • 4 0
 @PDXooo: and my point is that you don't actually know what you are talking about.
  • 1 0
 @PDXooo: RIm sure you have very big muscles but a 34/50 setup will yield a ratio of .68 which is slightly lower than your .79 but on a 29" wheel it works out to moving ~61" per crank rotation. Your 22/28 on a 26" wheel works out to ~63" per crank rotation. The ratio is almost identical when accounting for wheel size.
  • 1 1
 @JPostuk: ORRR... One can stick with the 28T cog & use a 20T ring with 29(x2.35) wheels(saving - ESPECIALLY unsprung - weight & part cost, for cassettes, derailleurs chainrings, chain guides, chains)...*Fake Grin*
  • 1 0
 @PDXooo: And what's the top end like on that 20t ring?
  • 1 0
 @JPostuk: I should have stated that better - that's for a 2x or 3x setup... You simply need to use a chainring that has 2 teeth less to compensate... In fact, I wrote something I call "Necessary Cassette Ranges" which addresses this topic with 1x drivetrains in mind... Please read, consider & feel free to try(& adjust the tooth size of your chainring of choice to compensate for wheel\tyre diameter):

"Necessary Cassette Ranges...

Based on the 42-32-22 3x chainring used with an 11-13-15-18-21-24-28 7s cassette which I used to ride 20 years ago, I have deduced that:

500% (9-45T) is all that is needed with a round chain ring…

445% (9-40T) is all that is needed with Oval Chain Rings(with +\-2T deviations)…

400% (9-36T) is all that’s needed with Dual Cam chain rings(with +4/-3T deviations found with Carbon-Ti X-SyncroCam Chainrings)…

Points to Note:

1. Larger than 45T cassette cogs are NOT necessary in the bike industry…
2. Oval & Dual Cam chain rings also EXTEND THE RANGE of a drivetrain, negating the need for a cassette(intended for a 1x setup)to have a range greater than 445%…
3. A 36T/40T/45T max cog limit allows for smaller derailleur cages which will be less prone to damage from random obstacles on the trail...
4. Any potential inefficiency from a 9T cog should be acceptable, as said cog will only be in use whilst riding down hill\with the aid of gravity(in most cases)...
5. 9-45T cassettes will be - you guessed it - lighter, but more importantly, the potential weight savings, can allow for said cassettes to be COMPLETELY made of Steel, increasing durability..."

Cheers... =]
  • 3 1
 Too much innovations. Too many standards. Interesting, but not needed. In 2008 when i started riding downhill, it was much more simple and had more fun riding.
  • 2 0
 I've been hearing this for so many years that I'm starting to believe it
  • 4 0
 How about a bike in stock?
  • 2 0
 Easier access to the air valve on dropper posts would be nice. It's not that frequent, but it is annoying to have to remove the saddle to top off the dropper.
  • 1 1
 Why would anybody besides racers “need” a high range cassette? Are you all cycling up vertical walls and also have to keep pedaling at 60+ km/h? Just get a smaller chainring, instead of placing so much dead weight on your rear hub.
  • 1 0
 im pretty over having a 6 bar linkage, after replacing the bearings on my bike was an absolute missio, and trying to figure out which one is making noise or causing play, is just a ball ache
  • 1 0
 I wish I kept my 70's faux motor bike, bike. Gas tank and double coil rear suspension and I could double three people no problem....but I must admit a wide range cassette would have helped move the 70lb beast around!
  • 1 0
 Though stem cable routing is hands down the most moronic thing the bike industry has even come up with.....especially on anything other that an aero road bike....and even then its pretty stupid...
  • 3 0
 Answer: Whichever the marketing team fancy on the day
  • 3 0
 whatever Neko is cooking!!!!!!
  • 2 0
 Every time I get a longer dropper I wonder how I lived with the shorter one. I'm up to 200mm.
  • 2 2
 Standardized head tube lengths and diameters, with large diameter to improve bearing size and adjustability options. Still not sure why we don’t do threaded headsets with insertable offset cups/bearings
  • 1 2
 "But here's the thing: thicker tire casings dramatically increase rolling resistance" Can somebody explain to me why? Seems counter intuitive to me. IMO tire inserts are a patch solution for lagging tire tech. I have a feeling it could go either way: tire and rims are designed to make inserts redundant, or tires and rims are designed to better accommodate inserts. I vote for the first
  • 4 1
 I it has to do with how well it conforms to the ground. A stiffer casing (or higher PSI) takes more energy to conform to the ground and that loss comes out as higher rolling resistance. Road bikes have been moving to wider tires/lower PSI for the same reason (and those dudes are outright obsessed with losses)
  • 3 1
 @mtmc99: But the energy you put into the ground is the same regardless. I would think that with stiffer side walls you'd have less tire deformation therefore less energy loss for the same energy input. I think in road biking it's more about optimizing grip. Racing teams have figured that skinny tires would slip too much under the power of these athletes. I have a feeling they traded in efficiency for peak power delivery to the road. Like when F1 cars introduced wings. The wings actually make the car less efficient but the grip they provide is more efficient and the inefficiencies were countered by more power.
  • 1 1
 @mtmc99: the grip they provide is more important*
  • 2 0
 @mechatronicjf: tire deformation is what *reduces* rolling resistance, allowing the tire to deform around small obstacles rather than transmitting vibrations. Tire hysteresis has a big impact on this though, so the fastest setups are generally the most supple (high TPI, latex tubes, etc). But there are lots of variables in play so it's not as simple as lightest tire = fastest tire.

Road teams went to wider tires and lower pressures because it reduces rolling resistance, not because of grip. There's no lack of grip in pavement (when it's dry at least).

The Silca series on rolling resistance has a lot of good info on this stuff. Pretty crazy that several years ago the conventional roadie wisdom to was to run skinny tires at max pressure, and now they're generally on 27c tires at like 75psi.

silca.cc/blogs/silca/part-4b-rolling-resistance-and-impedance
www.bicyclerollingresistance.com/road-bike-reviews
  • 3 0
 @bkm303: Totally agree, but there are more layers to this.

Josh Poertner also discusses the use of Vittoria inserts, which collapse out of the way when pressurized, then expand when pressure is lost as a "run flat" solution. This seems more useful to pro riders than to the public, as riding on the insert isn't ideal, it's mainly a solution to minimize time lost while waiting for a service vehicle. It could also be a safety improvement or could save a rim from damage while coming to a stop.

Some inserts add zero, or nearly zero, hysteresis to the system. An extreme example is the Schwalbe Procore. You might even consider the old THE Eliminator as an insert-like device for the same purpose, though it caused more problems than it solved.

Tannus claims their tubeless insert creates a small reduction in rolling resistance. I'm unclear how that's possible and the company owner was forthcoming that he doesn't have an explanation, only that that's what his data showed. At least it shows that an insert can have minimal effect on rolling resistance.

Finally, riders with inserts usually reduce tire pressure and often ride more flexible casings than they would do without the insert. Even if an insert adds some losses from friction or damping, the reduced tire pressure and more flexible casing may improve rolling resistance more than enough to overcome the losses from the insert.

For now, my opinion is still that improvements in casing design and tire aspect ratio are better solutions than inserts, but I do recognize the benefits inserts can offer.
  • 4 0
 @R-M-R: yeah I wasn't even thinking about inserts in my comment, just responding to the commenters above saying they thought a stiffer casing would be more efficient. The effect of inserts is a whole other layer of complication, but for mtb/gravel I can certainly imagine a light casing + insert being faster than no insert with a stiffer casing (depending on many things). Especially once you weigh in the risk/reward differences between road and mtb. On the road, optimal pressures for rolling resistance (70ish psi?) don't really cost you anything in terms of traction or flat prevention. In mtb, the tradeoffs between traction, resistance, and likelihood of flatting are very real (not to mention dependent on riding style and course conditions).

Re Tannus, I have to wonder if the efficiency gain is inside the test uncertainty range... if not it's hard to believe. But I could certainly see how Tannus would fall more in line with ProCore or Vittoria systems in that it's more "out of the way" once the tire is inflated and the foam is compressed. That and the hollow center seems like it would make Tannus much more compliant that Cushcore-type inserts. Intuitively it seems like the more influence an insert has on the sidewall support, the more lossy the tire-insert system would be... but I have no data to back that up.

Personally I run a Huck Norris in the rear just to protect my rim. Between the cost, weight, and (perceived) efficiency impacts of other insert systems it just doesn't seem worth it to me but I know people also rave about their effects on handling. I think if I was racing my thinking would change but for regular trail riding.... meh. I run EXO/EXO+ casings and haven't had a flat that I couldn't plug/seal/pump back up on the trail in a LONG time, so inserts are a hard sell for me.
  • 3 0
 @bkm303: Yeah, there are rarely universal solutions - and when there are, they're usually universally adopted with little debate!

The adoption of wider tires and lower pressures has been wonderful on road bikes, with essentially zero downsides. I've been trying to do likewise on mountain bikes for decades, but rim widths and tread profiles have always been a problem. The optimum solution for each rider and each terrain will always be the condition-specific balance of limiting factors, such as lateral stability, bottom-out protection, handling, weight, rebound energy management, and - particularly for rear tires - casing shear collapse.

At the moment, I think the best balance will be somewhat wider casings on much wider rims, without inserts. Burlier applications can add casing sidewall reinforcement near the base, tapering to a comparatively light crown, instead of inserts or an overall heavy casing. The wide rims may benefit from a central insert - like Procore, but probably a simple foam - to protect the rim, rather than to protect the tire or modify the flex properties. Haven't properly explored this yet.
  • 3 0
 @bkm303: thanks for the detailed reply. This is exactly the type of answer I was looking for. Much appreciated. My assumptions on this topic were wrong so I have reading to do
  • 1 2
 Regarding high pivot bikes, I wonder how much "drag" is due not so much to the idler but to the wheelbase extending instead of shortening on normal pivot.
On normal pivot bike while it's a bit tougher to climb over an obstacle, but when the wheel gets down and the suspension extends you then kind get a small "kick" pushing you forward.
On a HP bike it's easier to climb but when the wheel goes down the wheelbase is kind of like crouching and as the suspension goes back to sag point it doesn't give you that kind, and may kind of "drag" you backward a tiny bit.
I wonder if physic would tell you that all in all it's the same (what goes up must come down), or if there's one better than the other.
And if so, I don't know if there would be a way to counter that, maybe more antisquat on HP bike to make the suspension more reactive ?
  • 3 5
 Interesting that you brought this up, maybe not drag, but certainly a loss of efficiency. If you ride one up hill on tech, you can literally feel the rear extending back on hits … feels like riding in sand.

Yeah, they ride smooth, but the rearward wheel movement makes the bike ride flat, not fun for riding.
  • 4 0
 I had a Forbidden for a year, and it's the opposite of what you said. The rearward axle path magnifies the sensation of being pushed up and over rocks and square edges. It's a unique feeling compared to any other bike I've ridden or raced.
  • 1 0
 @fullendurbro: Yeah I mean, there may be two phases when going over an obstacle :
-the up phase
-the down phase

With a hardtail the up is tough, square hit, and the down while not smooth will give you 100% traction again.

On a normal pivot full suspension bile, the up will hold you back a bit, because the rear wheel has to "climb" the obstacle while moving forward, but on the down after sagging which takes a bit of your energy, the extending suspension "kicks" you forward a bit. So while it may be a bit paradoxal at first, when the trail is a bit rough a suspended bike has a better efficiency than a hardtail.
On the up the wheel base shrinks.
On the down the wheel base grows back to normal.

On a high pivot bike, the up phase should indeed feel "buttery smooth", the rear wheel has it much easier to climb as it moves backward, but on the down phase, after the sagging that steals a bit of your energy like a normal pivot, instead of having that small "kick", it may feel draggy.
On the up the wheel base grows.
On the down the wheel base shrinks back to normal.

That's that last shrink that may give this feeling of drag.
Also I've read several times that freestylers prefer normal pivot because of that "pop", and indeed you don't see many HP in freestyle, while in DH you don't need that pop, so there are many HP.

And from this, we can take a guess that for trail a normal pivot with pop/kick may be better than a HP without.

But I'm talking just by theory, I'm wondering if physic could prove this.
  • 1 0
 @Will-narayan: If your terrain is straight up and then down, High pivot will climb like nearly anything since you typically would lock out a coil shock. However if you have lots of technical or undulating climbs, you want a more more balanced bike. In terms of how it feels downhill, it really is a very noticeable difference, especially with speed much higher than all other bikes I've own.
My Norco Range HP is under 34lbs by the way and climbs like every other 34lb bike i've owned.
  • 1 0
 @Will-narayan: I see what you're saying from a conceptual standpoint, but it just doesn't align with how HP bikes actually ride. You should try one out. You'd be surprised by how great they feel while tech climbing.
  • 1 0
 @vanillarice19: Dude there is no way your Range is under 34 pounds. How in the world did you spec it? XC wheels and tires?
  • 2 0
 Love the posts that are motivated solely by bike industry folks fishing around for the next big marketing “whale”.
  • 4 1
 We don't need f**king Mullets... That's for dam sure!!!!
  • 1 2
 I know it's only an opinion piece but I think most of the tech mentioned above is here to stay particularly electronics the industry is really starting to lean towards ebikes(it's were the money is) so weight isn't a factor. Polygons ebike is a 6 bar they say it works better for that application and been a more budget orientated brand I'd believe cause it would of cheaper just to use the same system as their other bikes. But with electronics the ebikes already have big batteries so you may aswell plug in as much electronics as possible I really think this is what shimanos new half wireless system is designed around and electric suspension is a logical progression. Plus as bike geometry is starting to settle down again you need a new hook to sell
  • 3 0
 Missing: “None of the above”
  • 3 0
 Protected derailleurs need to be on this list!
  • 3 1
 I am starting to feel like later on you will need a degree in engineering to do any work on your bike.
  • 3 0
 I'm thinking we'll see more pinion-drive gearboxes in the next few years.
  • 1 0
 Since we're just talking about MTBs, wide range cassettes are already standard. And recently even the gravel bike designers seem to have worked out it's a good idea.
  • 2 3
 High pivot bike user:

No extra drag, it is all in your heads.

It climbs better than my last bike. It is better on the down slope. The suspension is not marginally better. Heavier than most Enduos, so what. Still an enjoyable ride. Air shocks suck.
People have opinions with no personal experience, so sad.
  • 3 0
 We don't "need" any innovations. But the want, oh the want is so strong.
  • 2 0
 Can someone help explain this, "thicker tire casings dramatically increase rolling resistance"?
  • 5 0
 My understanding is that it's a result of the inherent elastic hysteresis of the tire rubber. Thicker casings have more rubber, thus more hysteresis--which translates into forwards momentum converted into heating of the rubber. In other words the internal friction of the rubber is wasted energy, and more rubber means more friction.
  • 1 1
 I think a 52-tooth sprocket is unnecessary, because it is just fine to have a granny gear and front derailler for those steep climbs. It will always be a better ratio, and no heavy dishes attached unsuspended.
  • 2 0
 Funny that innovations that would be useful, has been blocked by bike industry?
  • 2 0
 What about a tire insert filled with air? That way if you got a puncture, you could just replace the insert.
  • 1 0
 We need clipless shoes with a way longer channel for more rearward cleat placement!....Sounds simple right, but WTF doesn't it exist??
  • 1 0
 I don't think there is a single 2022 bike I've seen that I like. I think bikes are too slack now & I can't stand 29' wheels
  • 1 0
 Dropper post length is subjective. I'm 5'11" and run a 150 drop. On steep tech stuff the tire hits my ass long before the saddle, adding more drop makes no difference.
  • 1 0
 So happy you know the difference between "damping" and "dampening". Congrats on a well-written article and correct suspension terminology.
  • 3 1
 niche patented suspension platforms are total BS!!!
  • 4 2
 Supre drive. Death to the dangly derailleur!
  • 2 0
 Nah. Supre drive is the worst of both worlds. Like a classic derailleur transmission, you still have a non-encased system that is open to the elements and like a gearbox it requires a custom frame and a somewhat custom suspension layout. Also it's going to be a fully proprietary system, which is a major red flag to me. I don't want a bike that can only function with a completely unproven drivetrain made by a guy in a shed. Nothing against Cedric, he's probably a smart guy. But he just isn't a trusted name in the business (yet).
  • 2 0
 @Muscovir: high pivot frames integrate the drivetrain into the suspension design. Those have become popular even with the marginal gain in performance. I’d argue the derailleur being virtually completely protected is a much bigger achievement. If it becomes popular enough, the availability will high enough that “proprietary” isn’t so much of a problem.
  • 2 0
 @wyliebmx4: I can think of lots of things that became popular in spite of not actually being beneficial.
  • 1 0
 Mountain bikes evolve into BMX bikes and mountain bikers turn to BMX bikes with a mountain bike background.
  • 3 2
 i had tons of fun without any of this so we dont need any of them. i was stronger and climbed and rode harder.
  • 2 0
 You were younger then, your current body won’t agree
  • 1 0
 When the bike industry comes out with next year’s lineup of better trails I’ll go shopping for a better bike
  • 1 0
 Do you run tire inserts on short travel trail bikes? Or is that an eduro/DH race thing?
  • 2 0
 I run them on my Enduro rig year round. I run them on my trail rig during the winter. During the winter I tend to travel to NW Arkansas ALOT to get open trails. A lot of those trails can get pretty gnarly (not bentonville). It's almost time to pull them out though and raw dog it.
  • 3 0
 I use them on my Tallboy for where I ride in CO
  • 2 0
 Local, on demand manufacturing.
  • 2 0
 everyone message @dirttrailsociety
  • 2 0
 Wow, tired at 2827 and I pushed posts to 2828, ha
  • 2 1
 Ill keep my 05 frame with a regressive single pivot design and modern parts! Best of both worlds right? Right...?
  • 2 0
 Lawwill Suspension, Still Legendary
  • 2 0
 In ten years there won't be a cassette.
  • 2 0
 6 link isn't even close to new....
  • 1 0
 1% is measurable? I suppose so, but then isn't everything measurable with the right equipment?
  • 1 0
 Inalámbrico control de presión en las ruedas ? Control air pressure anytime from handlebar just up and down bottom
  • 1 0
 companies pay for research results, Outside gets paid by advertisers while its users submit market data for free....
  • 1 0
 I’m predicting ebike wheels where the hubs and ‘spokes’ actually flip 90 degrees to become rotors for lift
  • 1 0
 Image if you could get a bike with all the innovations included.. would be like the car Homer designed for Uncle Herb
  • 2 0
 WHERE TF IS THE GEARBOX !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • 2 0
 A community supported website not owned by a big corporation?
  • 2 0
 Until we eliminate the derailleur we haven't achieved a thing.
  • 2 0
 In ten years, all MTBs will have motors and triple clamps.
  • 1 0
 I want to 200mm travel bike with double crown fork that weighs less than 30 pounds in the 5k cost range.
  • 2 0
 Late to the party but how was the LAL bikes drivetrain not on the list??
  • 2 0
 We actually need better Ebikes. Mini nuclear reactors
  • 1 0
 I which better tires casing to weight ratio would be in here instead of insert
  • 1 0
 Built in bladder in the down tube with a quick release funnel. When ya gotta go. Ya gotta go.
  • 1 0
 I still think the thing that we need is non-body weight droppers. Not that it seems easy by any means.
  • 1 0
 I need a gas motor . E-bikes don't have enough torque , plus they are too quiet .
  • 2 2
 150/157 rear hub spacing 83 mm bottom bracket for DH and enduro. Boost for trail and XC.
  • 4 7
 No particular issue with wide range cassettes but I don't get why people continue to use tiny chainrings with them. I read the science but I'm not interested; I find pedalling a gear less than 1:1 fairly miserable and I'm happy to get out of the saddle and push squares rather than spin away and move slower than walking pace
  • 13 0
 @lacuna
Spend a summer riding in BC to gain an appreciation for regional variance preferences.
  • 3 0
 I live in a pretty flat corner of the world and would appreciate a 36/8 chainring for most of my riding but every time I think about it, I end up on a ride with enough gradient to make 32 a necessity. I rode 6-7km in my easiest gear last month. It was a hell of a lot easier (and more enjoyable) than walking and the descent made the miserable hour long climb worth it.
  • 8 0
 Maybe it's where you live? But to get to the descents where I am, it's generally 40-50 minutes of moderate to steep climbing. There is one place that is very steep for a full 20 minutes, so the small chainring keeps you from getting to anaerobic and burning out before you get to ride down and have fun..
  • 1 0
 I have no issue with the wide range either. I just wish sram would make a 10-42 12 speed cassette as well. I'd buy axs today if they did.
  • 3 0
 Move somewhere else-with mountains and you'll change your tune.
  • 2 0
 @wyorider: It's very likely I would change my tune. However, I don't live in the big mountains, and neither do lots of other mountain bikers, so a 10-42 cassette option would be sufficient.
  • 3 0
 @Dogl0rd: this. Never a truer statement uttered
  • 1 0
 Hi pivot durrr, do you not even read pinkbike ?
  • 2 5
 Kaz, you freaking nailed this. word for word. even high pivot witchcraft is just too much engineering IMO. frankly, mountain bikes are close to optimal at this time in both geometry, materials and design. give me a Tranny or Commencal any day for any trail, never mind the bollocks.
  • 3 0
 you need to re-check the author.
  • 1 1
 Go to Thailand then
  • 2 0
 Self-dropping droppers.
  • 5 0
 Pretty sure Rockshox already has this covered
  • 1 0
 In 10 years high end bikes may have no cables ro run through the stem..
  • 1 0
 All of them, even if they suck. Innovation leads to more innovation.
  • 1 0
 Seb Stott makes the best articles in the industry!
  • 2 1
 My prognose is that mullets will also die out.
  • 1 0
 When do the graphene bikes come out?
  • 1 0
 When all other problems have been solved and a handful of grams of bike weight is all that stands in the way of perfection.
  • 1 0
 Do cheaper bikes and parts that last longer count as an innovation?
  • 2 1
 It's true though. These huge cassettes are making mountain bikers soft.
  • 1 0
 Dual link bikes>flight attendant
  • 2 0
 26 inch wheels
  • 2 0
 More drugs
  • 1 0
 Dear god, not the trust forks.
  • 1 0
 bring back Maxxis Mobster in T-bliss 29 option
  • 2 0
 Why are nipples brass?
  • 3 0
 Low friction and resistant to corrosion. Both those can be addressed with aluminum, but require surface treatments that add cost. Aluminum nipples can be equally durable at one-third the weight, but the cost will increase by a few dollars per wheel.
  • 2 0
 Gearbox?
Gearbox!
  • 1 0
 we really need lower and reasonable prices, that's what we need
  • 2 1
 Bar ends....
  • 3 0
 Inner Bar Ends (doesn't make word sense) are the new Clipless.
  • 3 0
 @GaryInVA: I am a fan of my inner bar ends. It's nice to have that extra position. They do look silly.
  • 2 0
 I’m quite happy running SQ lab inner bar ends. They certainly make some of my long miserable grinding rides up dirt roads easier.
  • 3 0
 @Afterschoolsports: I'm waiting for SQLabs USA to finish switching distributors so that I can get a set of 410 inner barends and 710 grips. I was just making fun of the "inner" bar "end".
  • 1 0
 @GaryInVA: I haven’t tried the grips yet but have a set to throw on next change. I’ve been running a 12 degree bar on my downduro for a year. I’m so impressed that I’m going to run their 16 deg bar later this year on my trail bike.
  • 1 0
 @GaryInVA: You mean the ones that UCI banned for competition use? I'd never even heard of them until I saw an article (maybe here?) that they'd been banned. Didn't look all that useful to me, but also didn't make much sense to ban them.
  • 2 0
 @Afterschoolsports: I'm running their 16 degree bar on my commuter/rigid MTB. Love them. Did have to run a 10mm longer stem. I also have their seats, I'm sold on SQLabs.
  • 2 0
 Inner and outer bar ends for the win!
  • 2 2
 Electronically controlled components will always be needed by Dentists.
  • 1 0
 Only ones i can afford
  • 1 1
 All wheel drive for my eeeebike
  • 2 2
 Fillmore Valves! That's the innovation we actually need! Prove me wrong!
  • 3 0
 "What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence."
  • 1 2
 I've gotta say, I 100% agree with every point in this article. I was starting to think I was the only one...
  • 1 2
 look at that poll !!!!!!! the master threw the bone and again the dog went for it without thinking twice Typical these days
  • 1 0
 Affordability
  • 1 0
 0deg float SPD pedals
  • 2 2
 Brass nipples!!!
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