Specialized Stumpjumper Evo Comp 29
EDITORIAL

Actually, the Bike Industry kicks Apple's Ass

Words Andrew Major
Photos Andrew Major
Date Nov 14, 2018

The One Exception

Matt Lee's The Apple-ization of the Mountain Bike offers a compelling look into his experience maintaining an older mountain bike and his concerns about planned-obsolescence, unnecessary innovation, and forced upgrades. It was popular with NSMB readers, which isn't surprising given that some 43% of us own an iPhone and let's face it, new bikes are expensive. 

The counterpoint is that Mountain bikes are, and long have been, a shining light of serviceability in a world of throw-away objects. If anything, we are going through a renaissance of inter-compatibility, a De-Apple-ization if you will. The companies, from the tiny to the enormous, that make up 'The Industry' are doing an epic job supporting long abandoned legacy standards. 

Have a late 90's disc-brake hardtail with a 22mm disc mount? There's an adaptor for that. 

*Cover Photo Harookz/Specialized. 

Schwalbe Tires 26" AndrewM

Schwalbe's most popular aggressive rubber is all available in 26" in their latest compounds just like their 27" and 29" tires. 

Even in the case of the one notable exception, the death of the 1-1/8" steerer tube, it's an epic stretch to call it planned obsolescence. Like Boost hub spacing, tapered steerer tubes and the required larger headtubes quickly gained popularity after they were introduced by Trek for the 2008 Remedy. Eleven model years ago. 

And while it's getting more and more difficult to find replacement forks for some bikes - particularly for longer travel bikes that don't have 1.5" headtubes - this isn't a surprise I think it's sad and I wish there was a business case for a company like SRAM to step up with some 1-1/8" models, but there is still lots of time to stockpile a backup fork and this is a great reminder to stay on top of suspension service. 

Steerer Tubes

For the first time since 2003, and arguably for the first time ever, the mountain bike world has one headtube size*. Cannondale is in the process of abandoning 1.5" with their new single crown Lefty forks, Giant gave up on their stupid OD2 1.5-to-1-1/4" nonsense a couple of years ago, there is no more short taper vs. long taper issue, every new high-end mountain bike shares a common steerer tube standard.

1.5-to-1-1/8" tapered steerer tubes are the victor.

So many frames on the market are using the same ZS 44 | ZS 56 press-in headset, it's possible that if a couple more bike companies ditch drop-in bearings (looking at you Specialized) that within the next few years that will become the standard**. 

*I'm ignoring the odd new rigid steel bike with a 1-1/8" headtube. Are those even mountain bikes?
**Eat me every company pushing ZS62 lower cups. 

Wolf Tooth Headset AndrewM

Buying a new rig and you're a bike-standard-prepper? Make sure it has a ZS44 | ZS56 headtube. 

But here's the thing. Every headset standard that's ever been thought up is still supported. Have a classic Klein or Yeti with a 1-1/4" headtube? Your local shop can get you one - never mind the internet. Some weird combo of an EC34 upper cup and an EC49 lower? Yep, no problem. 

It's simple to adapt a straight 1.5" headtube (49/49) frame for a tapered fork, and the Giant OD2 headtube is just a prevalent  ZS44 | ZS56 with a tiny bearing up top to accommodate the fatter steerer tube. An upper headset assembly and a cheap stem with a standard tapered fork and the only reminder of OD2 is a sticker under the clearcoat. 

One stem clamp dimension, one steerer tube dimension, heck one OneUp EDC dimension. It's like Apple, Google, Samsung, LG, Blackberry and a bunch of phone companies I've never heard of got together and adopted a universal, swappable, battery design. 

27.2 Dropper Posts

With the advent of dropper posts for gravel grinding bikes, the cockroach of mountain bike seatpost sizes lives again! Options abound and you don't even have to drill a hole in your seat tube (unless you want to). Check out the 110mm Pine from PNW, or the 120mm drop Lev from KS. There's always the option of buying a Gravity Dropper and hooking it up to a decent remote and if your wallet is fat check out the Thomson Elite. 

If you're handy with the tools (see below), or willing to pay someone who is, there are a host of good 27.2 stealth options like the PNW Rainer, a range of Lev Integra models, and there are more popping up all the time.  I say go with a hole and never look back. 

NSMB-CrankBros-Highline-FU-AndrewM-5.jpg?w=1600

I consider myself pretty handy with the tools, but I wasn't taking a Dremel to my titanium frame. All praise to Jordan @ Cove - easily one of the best wrenches in Canada - for putting holes in my ti. 

Then again, a Chromag quick release and a straight Thompson post have a nostalgic appeal some days, especially when I'm riding solo. 

Shock Sizing

I just want to take a second to note that the whole new Specialized Stumpjumper series. Carbon and aluminum frames. Yes, even the f***ing sexy Evo model. Every one of them is using a standard shock size.

No weird dimensions.

No special bodies. 

The person buying a used 2019 Specialized in 2029 says 'Thank You!". 

Specialized Stumpjumper Evo Comp 29

Standard 210x50mm shock and... Photo: Harookz/Specialized

2018 Specialized Stumpjumper S-Works

...threaded bottom brackets. Photo: Harookz/Specialized

And it's not just Specialized. Check out the totally boring shock dimensions (if not the shocks themselves) coming on the Trek Slash and any new Cannondale or Scott bike. 

Yeah, but what about the past generations of bikes with proprietary shocks? 

Good news there too. All the Trek Full Floater bikes were close enough in size to adapt-in standard shocks, the components of the Fox/Cannondale Dyad are built to last forever and those companies have confirmed support for wear items (seals), and Bike Yoke has you covered in standardizing more Specialized frames.   

Bottom Brackets

Sure, a bunch of bikes are coming with DUB bottom brackets but really who gives a sh*t? If it bothers you thread (yes I said thread) out the stock BB, sell the cranks, and buy whatever tickles your fancy. BSA is back baby. 

And even so, thanks to a pack of players from Enduro Bearing, to Wheelsmith, to Chris King, to Hope, to White Industries, to Praxis, to Phil Wood, and so on the only bottom bracket that isn't ridiculously easy to find is the first generation Octalink model for my 1995 Shimano XTR cranks.*

Have an unfortunately-named ISIS crankset that's still running? FSA has your back! 

*And even that is still possible. 

nsmb_2018_gear_launch_sram_dub-1889.jpg

Rub-a-DUB-DUB, four BBs in a tub and who's going to make aftermarket replacements? Ummm, everybody. Photo: Dave Smith

Boost Spacing

I previously claimed that Boost hub spacing shouldn't matter, and I'm happy to now say that it doesn't. There are a plethora of very clean 'Boostinator' kits on the market from the hub specific options delivered by Wolf Tooth to the simple universal spacer kits from Problem Solvers. I've used both with great results. 

And lo! I've even seen a couple of rather ingenious spacer jobs involving Center Lock rear hubs, including one with a post mount rear disc setup. Bonus points if you can guess how they were done.  

Super Boost Plus isn't a big deal either, and if you just bought a Boost 148mm hub and your new frame is using 157mm don't stress. There's an adapter for that too. 

Wolf Tooth Boostinator rear

Almost unnoticeably clean Wolf Tooth Boostinator front and back. Photo: AJ

Wolf Tooth Boostinator front

AJ's eclectic GeoMetron sports androgynous hub spacing. 100x15 today and 110x15 tomorrow. Photo: AJ

But wait. Can't shrink a Boost hub to fit 135/142, can I?

Give me a break or list one hub manufacturer that's not producing 135x10mm and 142x12mm rear hubs. Hope? Yep. Chris King? Still a thing. Industry Nine? Will make those sizes for all time. Project 321? Non-Boost hubs are fun. Formula? Quando? Every size yo. DT Swiss? Your heirloom hub accomplice. Race Face? On the case. 

Seriously, I'm here all week. And if you ever have a problem sourcing 135mm or 142mm hubs anytime in the next twenty years let me know. 

The Small Things

Did you know that a 10-Spd Shimano mountain bike shifter (introduced in 2010) will happily index a current 11-Spd Shimano clutch mountain bike derailleur across your choice of 10-Spd cassette? Including Shimano, SRAM, or my current favourite SunRace 11-46t. 

Take a SunRace 11-40t 9-Spd cassette, a Shimano 11-Spd clutch derailleur, and a 9-Speed SRAM shifter and with a bit of faffing about you're making party on a trail near you.

Shimano 11-Spd bar-end shifter, Paul Thumbie plate, Wolf Tooth Tanpan-11, and an 11-Spd Shimano clutch mountain bike derailleur and you're indexing your way from 11-50t* with a thumb shifter - the way it should be. 

*10-50t if you have an XD driver 

Wolf Tooth Camo Chainring AndrewM

If in doubt, ride a single speed. You'll be too oxygen-starved to spell the word standards and your bike wont give a sh*t. 

Can't get a 1-1/8" suspension fork for your hardtail? Try rigid with a big fat tire. Can't get a 1-1/8" suspension fork for your decade-old 6x6 bike? Get a dual-crown and lower it. Your frame has a 30.0 seat tube? Buy a shim and run a 27.2 dropper or if it's a thick tube have someone competent ream it to 30.9. 

De-Apple-ization

Bikes are adult-Lego and if you want to keep your old rig running, click some pieces together. 

Or don't. Maybe it's just time for a new rig. Bikes have come a long, long, way in the last decade and current geometry (both frame and suspension) is awesome. As someone who spends a fair amount of time riding without suspension, I'll also give a big up to Plus tires, current brakes, reliable dropper posts, and bar-sweep options. 

Don't worry about keeping your current rig because of some nefarious scheme to force you to upgrade by not supporting it with parts. It's not the case.

Do not stress about buying a new rig that will be obsolete in a few years. We're currently on the path to fewer standards, not more, with a stable of companies supporting everything on the market. 

I'm positive that in both cases you have bigger things to stress about. Like how much the latest software update slowed down your six-month-old iPhone. 

Comments

RBWebb
+1 Andrew Major
RBWebb  - Nov. 14, 2018, 1:44 a.m.

Nice work, Andrew.

I’ll add to this story a bit. I have a Gen 1 Banshee Phantom that I bought in late 2015.  I really don’t like any of the new colors, so I’ve decided to keep it another season and do some more upgrades. I have a 3 year old wheelset (Hope Pro 4 with Ibis 941 hoops if anyone cares) and I’m the only one of 4 friends with these wheels that didn’t bust a rim in some way this year. I’m a bit nervous, so I’ve decided to build out a new wheelset (I9 hubs with Spank Oozy Trail 350s, again if anyone cares).  Problem is, my frame is 142 spaced and I want to build wheels that can work on my next frame. With Banshee it’s awesome.......  just go to their website and order Boost dropouts.  I already have an MRP Ribbon Coil (which is Boost) that I’m using MRP’s Better Boost Adapter on, so my new wheels will eliminate the adapter and I’ll be able to use them on my next frame.

Not only is it my favorite bike I’ve ever owned, Banshee has effectively made their bikes “future proof”.........

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luisgutierod
0
luisgutierod  - Nov. 14, 2018, 4:22 a.m.

I destroyed the industry fitting a boost rear wheel on my 2016 canfield balance... people can rant an hour on the side effects of this (bearing misalignment, stresss etc) bt the truth is, some frames can take it no prob... : )

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AndrewMajor
+2 sAFETY RBWebb
Andrew Major  - Nov. 14, 2018, 7:53 a.m.

Thank you!

Banshee deserves a lot of credit for quietly catering to riders with their future-proof philosophy. 

Boost or non-Boost, Plus or regular, short wheelbase or long wheelbase, Angleset compatible headtube, threaded BB.

And the bikes are as bombproof as anything while also working really well.

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Lynx
0
MountainBikeBarbados .  - Nov. 16, 2018, 1:38 p.m.

Absolutely agree, the replaceable drop out system with stays already shaped to work with all standards is a BIG plus for Banshee, and tweak the geo a bit.

One thing that you should note though, the 148x12 Boost drop outs are the 650B/Long drop out designed to make the Rune/Spitfire able to run 650B or the Prime/Phantom run 29+, so your stays will be about 1cm longer than with your current 142x12 drop outs. Another option you could try is using the 150x12 drop outs and just clamping the 148x12 hub in and then you would need a rotor boost spacer to get the rotor to where you need it, RD will be fine, just a bit more inboard than if you were running a 150 hub, nothing you can't adjust it to work with.

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mawa
+2 Niels Andrew Major
MaWa  - Nov. 14, 2018, 6:18 a.m.

Well, I would rather call it the Apple-effect. Nobody repaired a mobile phone 10 years ago. Apple basically invented that market with closing their mobile phones and making them insanely expensive.

A iPhone that gets refurbished and sold after his first dentist may work for a lot of years. Somebody will eventually put a new battery in it, because the original price justifies it. A cheaper phone works for 2 years max. and gets thrown away after. Perhaps that Apple-way is even better for the environment. 

(never owned a iPhone, but my MacBookPro is still working after >10years. Spare Parts are still available.)

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AndrewMajor
+1 AJ Barlas
Andrew Major  - Nov. 14, 2018, 7:57 a.m.

It’s a great point. There’s a guy up the street from me that does screens. Looking at the cost of a new phone vs my cracked 5s that does what I need and the ~$120 is peanuts.

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AJ_Barlas
0
AJ Barlas  - Nov. 14, 2018, 10:46 a.m.

I may need your neighbour's contact details… :)

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craw
0
Cr4w  - Nov. 14, 2018, 11:36 a.m.

This is a friend of mine who does awesome iphone repairs. https://www.facebook.com/BKiPhoneRepairs/

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Endur-Bro
0
Endur-Bro  - Nov. 14, 2018, 3:50 p.m.

Get onto ifixit, order your own parts and tools and DIY.  

I replaced the DC Mag plug in my pre-Rectum Display MPB for cheap and in very little time.  Also upgraded the RAM whilst in the way.

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Vikb
+1 Andrew Major
Vik Banerjee  - Nov. 14, 2018, 6:37 a.m.

I sold a 2009 SC Nomad to a friend. It's been ridden hard and I've had no issues getting compatible parts for it despite its age. I don't see any problems for my friend to ride it another 9yrs. It's annoying when you can swap expensive parts between bikes in your garage and you may not be able to buy the latest greatest tech, but actually keeping an older bike rolling has never been an issue.

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justin-bonk
+1 Andrew Major
Justin Bonk  - Nov. 14, 2018, 7:56 a.m.

I'm still butt hurt over Shimano pushing from 130 to 135mm rear spacing to accommodate 7-spd drivetrains. And for the record 1" steerer tubes work just fine. In all seriousness the industry has done a lot to keep older bikes on the trail. You might pay a bit more, but there are plenty of high quality parts for old standards these days.

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AndrewMajor
+1 Justin Bonk
Andrew Major  - Nov. 14, 2018, 8 a.m.

Ha!

Reminds me... My buddy had a steel Norco Rampage hardtail frame that was ~132.5mm from the factory. Basically the original Surly Gnot Boost.

I totally neglected to mention 1”. As you say, still so much 1” threaded stuff around but 1” threadless is surprisingly easy to support to. Just sometimes have to choose between really cheap or really expensive parts.

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craw
+1 Mammal
Cr4w  - Nov. 14, 2018, 11:41 a.m.

I don't remember this being that big of a deal. 130-135? That's 2.5mm on either side - a steel frame can easily handle that...

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justin-bonk
0
Justin Bonk  - Nov. 14, 2018, 3:35 p.m.

Yeah, but on an old Klein with ridiculously beefy stays - not so much. Voided the warranty and definitely not so easy to cold set. Rim brakes made it kind of easy, but taking out spacers on the left made and dishing the wheels right wasn't ideal. Tacos anyone?

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legbacon
+1 Andrew Major
legbacon  - Nov. 14, 2018, 8:44 a.m.

Some good information here, thank you.

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cooperquinn
+1 IslandLife
Cooper Quinn  - Nov. 14, 2018, 9:16 a.m.

And think about it this way - without changing standards, we wouldn't have cool upstart companies like OneUp and WolfTooth.

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alexdi
+2 ZigaK Cr4w Andrew Major Mammal
Alex D  - Nov. 14, 2018, 9:55 a.m.

While your point is well-taken (and well-written), I think the beef is less about parts than the feeling that what you're emotionally invested in has been devalued.

They told me it was great, I emptied my pockets, and now they're replacing it a year later?

How can I feel good about my ride when the new marketing is all about deficits I didn't even know it had?

Why didn't they think of this stuff before selling me on the old one?

And why is the only honest evaluation of my bike in the review of the subsequent redesign?

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AndrewMajor
+1 IslandLife
Andrew Major  - Nov. 14, 2018, 10:59 a.m.

Thank you,

"And why is the only honest evaluation of my bike in the review of the subsequent redesign?"

I read this comment (or something in this vein) fairly frequently but I don't see it myself. I mean, sometimes you have to ride a pair of shoes for 9-months before the soles de-lam which may require updating a review to reflect a long-term durability issue but if the shoes were fantastic to ride in they're still fantastic aside from an issue that came up.

Sometimes I'll read two reviews by different writers (sometimes some distance in time apart) that are contradictory but that can come down to personal experience. I've been on both sides of reviewing a product that was either amazing for me or the opposite and then I'll read someone else's review where they had the opposite experience and it's always surprising. But that could come down to a personal preference, where the product is being used, and etc.

For example, my experience with the new Kona Satori was much less positive than anything else I read about the bike but I can easily chalk that up to different riders and/or different locales. 

...

Do you really find that you're reading positive reviews about something one day and then a year later a review by the same author that sh*ts on the product?

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alexdi
+1 Andrew Major
Alex D  - Nov. 14, 2018, 12:37 p.m.

Sure. There's a particular "bible" with examples aplenty, especially in older editions. Like most magazines, they tend to write in a community voice: "we" discovered this and "our testers" preferred that. The sentiment matters more than the byline.

The other side of deferred candor is that the initial reviews are often fluff pieces, and not for lack of time to evaluate the product. Here's what one publication says about a recent 165mm enduro bike: 

"... an exceptionally good climber and doesn’t compromise when the trail points downward."

"...  the frame is stiff ... responding to every pedal stroke."

"... clung to loose dirt, rocks and roots effortlessly, giving us all the traction we could ask for."

"... the rear end ... soaked up big hits without a second thought."

If you're the author, where do you go from this? How could the next one be any better?

And if you're the reader, why would you buy any other bike when this one is so clearly without compromise?

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AndrewMajor
+1 Alex D
Andrew Major  - Nov. 14, 2018, 2:31 p.m.

Thanks, yeah I have to reconsider/qualify my earlier response. I don’t regularly read (or write) bike reviews anymore - the Satori being a notable exception - unless the bikes are uniquely interesting (Marin Wolfridge, Trek Stache, Marin Hawkhill).  

I want to make some funny comment about how I already wrote the review of the Best Bike In The World but ironically my decision comes down to my lack of Biblical-level skillset. 

That’s not to say that I don’t consume a lot of bicycle media (maybe too much) but I almost exclusively read editorial and in-depth gear reviews.

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alexdi
+1 Andrew Major
Alex D  - Nov. 14, 2018, 8:49 p.m.

Reply

AndrewMajor
+1 Alex D
Andrew Major  - Nov. 14, 2018, 9:01 p.m.

HAHAHAHAHAHA. That's epic. Thanks for sharing!

AndrewMajor
+4 fartymarty ExtraSpecialandBitter Alex D Cr4w
Andrew Major  - Nov. 14, 2018, 11:12 a.m.

Regarding the emotional investment, I completely agree. I think the key is to remember that every editorial I write is just poorly disguised evangelism as I attempt to convert other mountain bikers to the raw joy and beautiful serenity of rigid single speeding. 

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alexdi
+1 Andrew Major
Alex D  - Nov. 14, 2018, 12:46 p.m.

Mate, if my trail looked like that, I'd be on a rigid too. Alas, I've only got the one set of wrists.

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AndrewMajor
+2 MountainBikeBarbados . rvoi
Andrew Major  - Nov. 14, 2018, 2:07 p.m.

Hahahaha, f***... totally set myself up for that didn’t I... 

No, I mean... the long wheel base and slack HTA combined with a 29x3” front tire, 29x2.6” rear tire and lack of gears allow the Walt to soak up bumps like the best 6” travel Enduro bikes on market while the proprietary 13C rubber compound on the front tire provides suspension-esque traction in the worst conditions, lasts thousands of kilometres, and has consistent properties through a massive temperature range! It makes the rainiest night on North Shore GNAR feel like a sunny day riding green runs.

...

In all seriousness, it’s rarely the fastest option down but it’s pretty amazing how capable good brakes, tires, and geo make a rigid bike. Yes, you’ll want to keep the wheels near the ground but I think it’s a totally viable option for folks put off by maintenance costs and evolving tech.

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IslandLife
+1 Andrew Major
IslandLife  - Nov. 14, 2018, 2:45 p.m.

That's a very interesting point.  Look at how bikes are evolving right now... 29r's with big tires and less suspension are "de rigueur" (Spec SJ EVO and ha, just bought a Knolly Fugitive LT).  While at the same time they're getting longer and slacker... components like brakes and droppers are getting better and better and making riding any terrain easier and easier.  There's even a small but growing vocal group of people wondering why we have so many gears and asking for a light wide-range 5 cog cassette (how about 10, 20, 30, 40, 50?), I know I'd buy one.

As it stands now, 10 years down the road a "MTB" will be single speed, have 2 inches of travel on 32" wheels, a 90 degree seat tube angle, 45 degree head tube angle, 5" wide tires, a 250mm dropper, 1000mms of reach, a 2000mm wheelbase and a 180mm bottom bracket height... we'll fully stretch out and lay down between the wheels while we rocket down the descents then climb like we're riding a unicycle.

That would actually be a great article... based on where we've come from and where we are... where are we going?  What will we be riding in 2028?  What will my kids be paid to ride (fingers crossed hard) in 2038?

i was actually just thinking about this yesterday while comparing the geometry of my new Fugitive to that of the Specialize Stumpjumper EVO (pictured here)... the geometries are very, very similar except one thing... that evo has a head angle 1.5 degrees slacker than the Fugitive... and you wouldn't call the Knolly steep.  Which got me thinking, how slack is too slack?  How much slacker, longer and lower are bikes going to get?  Have we reached "Pinnacle MTB"?

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AndrewMajor
+1 IslandLife
Andrew Major  - Nov. 14, 2018, 4:23 p.m.

I laughed! It does seem like we’re chasing longer travel bikes that are poppier and more pedaly at the same time we’re chasing shorter travel bikes that are slacker and more progressive. If both super bikes have the same tires and weight the same do you go short or long travel?

Bikes have gotten so long relative to past sizing that the stem isn’t really used to tune fit beyond ~1.5 (35mm to 50mm max) on most bikes. Offset has been reduced to compensate for bad high speed steering traits but really stems can’t get short so front centres cant really get longer relative to rider size. 

My own experimenting with my Walt tells me rear centres are going to get longer with the goal of balancing weight between the wheels. Lack of suspension aside it’s so easy to ride. 

I’d love to see size specific rear centre lengths. If Kona offered longer rear dropouts (a la Banshee) I’d add another 2cm to the length of my Honzo without a second thought.

AndrewMajor
+1 IslandLife
Andrew Major  - Nov. 14, 2018, 4:27 p.m.

8spd cog spacing, four speed 12-22-32-42, 28t oval up front, shadow derailleur with tuneable clutch and metal pulley wheels with cartridge bearings. Yes please!

smcmain
+1 IslandLife
Samuel McMain  - Nov. 14, 2018, 8:05 p.m.

Peeking the comments, which are always interesting on NSMB. SRAM makes an 8spd e-bike drivetrain. I've ridden it briefly, the steps are big and might be what you're on about with the 5spd. It only does one shift at a time but maybe throw an Archer D1x on there and you have a bombproof setup.

AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Nov. 14, 2018, 8:30 p.m.

Hi Samuel,

I actually wrote about EX1 when SRAM first released it, along the vein your tapping, but was never able to get my hands on a groupset.

1:1 Marketing aside, there are only so many ways to yank a derailleur cable so I assume there's a shifter on the market that can multi-release/engage that beauty through 8-seamless engagements (with a couple clicks to spare up low). 

Interesting to note that 1x12 E-Drivetrains are now available which are just Eagle with single click triggers and 11-50t cassettes on Shimano drivers since presumably XD can't take the torque. My understanding is that the single-click shifter keeps ham-fingered multi-shifters from pedelec'ing their drivetrains into oblivion but I think it would drive me nuts on a pedal bike.

smcmain
0
Samuel McMain  - Nov. 15, 2018, 1:24 p.m.

There's probably an 8 spd shifter out there somewhere, maybe an old X9 would work...be a fun experiment to try!  I only rode the single click for a few minutes and it was already starting to get on my nerves, but you're right I think it's to keep an e-bike from exploding a drivetrain.

alexdi
0
Alex D  - Nov. 14, 2018, 8:53 p.m.

I think I'd enjoy that, except... my friends are faster than me. Some of them. Enough of them. If I don't want to suck dust, I need all the help the bike can give me. Fortunately it's a Cannondale, so I've got more ridiculous proprietary parts than anyone.

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geraldooka
+1 Andrew Major
Michael  - Nov. 20, 2018, 9:41 a.m.

More importantly... Where are all the pics and deets of this bad boy posted??

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AndrewMajor
+1 Michael
Andrew Major  - Nov. 21, 2018, 2:52 p.m.

Hi Michael, you mean my custom Walt? There are some pictures on my IG (click my name at top of article and it will link).

Walt’s welds are so good it’s almost a shame to have painted over them - Toxik Harald did the fade paint and there’s some close ups that do better justice to the dirty fade. 

There’s a photo with geo there too. It’s modern (long, low, slack) plus a longish rear centre. 

Single speeds, especially rigid ones, are not within NSMB’s established purvayence but they’re my personal passion so they haphazardly show up in content I submit.

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geraldooka
+1 Andrew Major
Michael  - Nov. 21, 2018, 3:14 p.m.

Sweet. Great looking rig. Doesn't seem too low, decently slack for a rigid though! I'm in the custom frame process at the moment so I like peeping at other folks interpretation of their preferred geo particularly those that ride in the PNW.

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AndrewMajor
0
Andrew Major  - Nov. 21, 2018, 4:36 p.m.

SWEET. Who's doing your build? Rigid or suspension?

The BB drop is 65mm. I don't think I'd change it (even though it is static) as I do clip the pedals a fair bit when I ride flats. If I only ever road clipped in and on smoother trails maybe I'd cheat a bit more. 

It's funny but having ended up with a 60mm stem and 16° backswept bar and running the wheelbase at ~1200mm as it sits I definitely feel like I could have gone longer front and rear without it having an overly negative effect on climbing or descending. The front center of my Honzo is much longer (~64° HTA, size large, -2° angleset). 

I LOVE this bike - but it's impossible not to wonder how a longer wheelbase and shorter stem would feel fully rigid.

zigak
+1 Velocipedestrian
ZigaK  - Nov. 15, 2018, 12:33 a.m.

This:

> And why is the only honest evaluation of my bike in the review of the subsequent redesign?

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JVP
+2 Cam McRae Andrew Major
JVP  - Nov. 15, 2018, 2 p.m.

"While your point is well-taken (and well-written), I think the beef is less about parts than the feeling that what you're emotionally invested in has been devalued."

That's a common affliction. I'm a bit the opposite. I take a lot of pride in riding a fairly beat down bike, and riding it better than some riders out on the trail on this season's greatest rig. At the moment I'm on a super sweet Patrol that's only 1 model old, but I'll ride it for another 4 years or until it breaks.  

I have an experience seared into my brain that cemented this point of view. In 2001-ish, us Seattle boys were experiencing the shore for the first time. We had fairly nice bikes, I was on a RM Element with a Z3. Trying to ride CBC log rides and skinnies, some dude in a budget beater hardtail and hockey pads just schools the crap out of us. He had skills, and a clapped $400 bike. That guy was rad. Be like him.

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AndrewMajor
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Andrew Major  - Nov. 16, 2018, 1:10 a.m.

The difference between "what-a-guy" on his clapped out sh*t bike holding up the group with endless mechanicals and OTBs and "that-guy" who's charging at the front of the pack on a homemade high-pivot full suspension bike, or rattle-canned Kona Stinky, is totally invisible to the casual observer and manifest to the initiated.  

Like our wicked mix of imperial and metric measurements - and awkward translations of such - to me it's among the most beautiful things about the tech-gear aspect of our chosen passion. 

The most epic shredder I've never met is named Clayton, and I wish you could still see a photo of his bike here but sadly the thread is dead. I used to click the link and breathe in the image of his bike before writing anything about bikes/gear because it screamed "TESTIFY" so loud it could have silently filled in as the lead singer of Rage. 

I think he may actually be from your neck of the woods?

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JVP
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JVP  - Nov. 16, 2018, 10:01 a.m.

I have a few friends like that.  On is "Mr. Glisten" on his super old Heckler, complete with rattle can paint and a Marz 66. Half the OG dudes in Seattle know who I'm talking about. Clapped bike, great rider, builds trail, awesome dude, and he'll out-boost you on any jump, and crush you on any climb (while claiming to be out of shape).   

But I think I know the guy you're talking about from some articles here. Don't know him, but he's friends of some trail builder friends of mine in Leavenworth. The most beat down Stinky you've ever seen, completely bald tires, badass rider with a big smile. That's kind of the Leavenworth way to roll - that town is legit.

Dudes like these are one reason why our sport is so awesome.  Just grab what you got and have a great time!

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AndrewMajor
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Andrew Major  - Nov. 16, 2018, 3:52 p.m.

The bike I’m thinking of (Clayton’s) is a homemade steel high-pivot DH bike.

Is there a lot of great riding around Leveanworth or just a case of will = way?

Absolutely - ride what ya brung!

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morgan-heater
+2 dave_f Andrew Major
Morgan Heater  - Nov. 14, 2018, 9:59 a.m.

Most of the whining about the standards changing seems to be from people that want to buy a new bike super regularly, if you're holding onto your loved ones until they truly get old and die it's not really an issue. Except (and I think this is actually kind of a big deal because I am cheap and avoid bike shops when possible) all the different standards make it super hard to figure out which parts will work on your old dated frame if you don't have a decent amount of experience.

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mammal
+1 Andrew Major
Mammal  - Nov. 14, 2018, 11:26 a.m.

If you're that cheap and stubborn (like me), you can and will research about the compatibilities. The info is available if you choose to wade through it.

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morgan-heater
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Morgan Heater  - Nov. 16, 2018, 9:04 a.m.

Yep, I agree, it's just annoying.

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AndrewMajor
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Andrew Major  - Nov. 14, 2018, 11:31 a.m.

When I needed a new valve assembly for my dishwasher (4.5 years old - so basically time for a new one right?) I walked up the street to the local appliance repair shop/store with the dead one and they ordered me the correct replacement. It cost me a $10 premium, which in this case was 20%, over ordering it on the internet (approximately as I'm assuming I'd have paid GST/PST but no duties) and it arrived in about the same amount of time as if I'd ordered it myself. 

I'm big on shopping local, to begin with, but aside from the fact that some % of my purchase is going back into my local community, I thought that was a pretty good value for taking advantage of their expertise. 

I think a lot of the time this debate comes down to the perception of people who are trying to make a career in bikes as less-than. If I had a can of beer for every time someone used a variation of the line "it's just a bicycle" to explain to me why a service was too expensive in a shop I worked at I could host everyone commenting on this piece for a friendly tête-à-tête and there'd be plenty of leftovers.

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morgan-heater
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Morgan Heater  - Nov. 16, 2018, 9:08 a.m.

I don't think that bike shops or bike mechanics are "less-than", I just think that the premium for most shop work is too expensive for my personal budget. I have a local shop that I really like, and I take my suspension there for damper service, but everything else makes my cheap-o-meter start beeping. $30/brake for a bleed? I can do that in 20 minutes, etc.

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AndrewMajor
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Andrew Major  - Nov. 16, 2018, 9:35 a.m.

I love working on my own bike so I always encourage folks to do as much as their time/space/ability/knowledge allows.

But, your example illustrates my point perfectly. When you’re at work what is your time worth?

$30/20-minutes is actually low when you consider most shops’ hourly rates. Factor in shop supplies, tooling, and the fact that a certain percentage of bleeds take longer and some turn into nightmares and then look at what good service writing, wrenching, and follow up cost - especially with the labour pressure locally (Vancouver+) as great career mechanics look to maximize their income vs. cost of living - and there’s probably a solid argument that the average shop is abusing their bottom line with a blanket brake bleed charge of $30.

I know that isn’t going to be a popular opinion but I’ve been on the other end of those numbers and it’s the truth. I haven’t even brought in how much of that $30 is going into local triple-net sq/ft.

I’m not crying for local shops - there’s lots of hard businesses - but the idea that the good ones don’t deliver value/$ on service drives me nuts.

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morgan-heater
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Morgan Heater  - Nov. 16, 2018, 3:35 p.m.

There are people in my office with masters degrees who are not billing at $90/hr. Seems pretty pricey.

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AndrewMajor
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Andrew Major  - Nov. 16, 2018, 4:07 p.m.

I’ve never run an office so I have no idea what margins look like whether it’s a lawyer billing at $400/hr or a guy with a masters in presumably something useful billing at $90.

I have managed shops and I can tell you that by the time a shop owner pays the person ordering parts, writing service, bleeding the brake, invoicing the repair, taking your money, returning your call/email (even if it’s all one person) not to mention rent, utilities, taxes, tools, etc, etc, they have to f***ing hustle to turn a profit on service.

Again not shedding any tears. Anyone who owns a shop in this town knew what they were getting into but comparing apples:apples a lot of folks I know wouldn’t get dressed for the margin on that bleed.

sAFETY
+1 Andrew Major
sAFETY  - Nov. 14, 2018, 10:08 a.m.

....so the bike industry isn't as bad as Apple because there are smaller companies filling in the gaps and creating adapters/conversions for the often unnecessary changes pushed by the big players?  Is this not EXACTLY what happens in tech as well?

As for change for the sake of change, I see no better example than the push to 15mm at a time when 20mm was a proven and universally accepted alternative to 9mm quick releases.  20mm interfaces can be made stronger than 15mm, and they can be made lighter than 15mm, but the industry decided to create something new for marketing purposes.

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AndrewMajor
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Andrew Major  - Nov. 14, 2018, 10:41 a.m.

Regarding 15mm, as I understand it (and this is pieced together from hearsay) Fox wanted to move away from the standard quick release for liability & stiffness reasons but they wanted to differentiate their lightweight XC forks from what a rider would use for 'freeride' or dirt jumping.

15mm was introduced on 32mm stanchion (XC) forks only in 2008 (2009 model year) and until the first 34 was released (2011 for 2012 model year) that's all it was used for with the more aggressive forks remaining 20mm.

As someone who's spent some money on King hub axles over the years keeping up with the forks I've run I would have also preferred everything to just be 20mm but I can appreciate their position at the time. 

At the same time, I'd love to see it go back to one standard and if it's Boost 15mm that works for me. 

...

Regarding the bike industry vs. tech I think that's a very narrow reading of what I'm saying. For example, the first photo/caption is showing some of the models that Schwalbe, certainly not a small company, is producing in legacy size (26") in their current (and best) rubber compounds.

Another point that I'm focused on is the movement from big players (Trek, Specialized, Cannondale all given as examples) to consolidate around standards like shock size, Boost spacing, and etc. Yeah, that doesn't help the guy with the 5-year old bike today but it's the industry moving in the opposite direction of where popular opinion says it's going.

...

With a modicum of research, it is also very easy for the concerned bike buyer to make purchasing decisions with future proofing in mind. Banshee came up in an earlier comment but really any new bike with Boost spacing, a BSA bottom bracket, a common shock size, bearing pivots, and a ZS44/ZS56 headset is going to die long before it's unsupported.

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mammal
+1 Andrew Major
Mammal  - Nov. 14, 2018, 11:33 a.m.

Great rebuttal Andrew.

Well documented examples that go against the tired "planned obsolescence" narrative. It's such a common stance about the bike industry, that mostly boils down to hyperbole when compared to other industries that A) Require frequent product revamps to keep selling, and B) Involve products comprised of hundreds of different components.

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cam@nsmb.com
+1 tashi
Cam McRae  - Nov. 14, 2018, 1:08 p.m.

Another point about the perception of planned obsolescence in the bike biz is that nothin changed for a very long time. A lot of stuff from the early to mid eighties could  be used on. Bike from 2005 (steerers and 20mm front axles being notable exceptions). Between then and now everything has changed several times. Grips, saddles, pedals  and rear derailleurs  are about all that still bolts on.  20 years of very little change and then 13 years during which the pace  has increased dramatically and it feels like it has accelerated.

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zigak
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ZigaK  - Nov. 15, 2018, 2:01 a.m.

If I could pinpoint the turning point as you describe it between "20 years of very little change and then 13 years during which the pace has increased dramatically" it would be the moment when SRAM introduced the new line of their X.0 group, which was exactly the same as previous year except it came in  ̶t̶h̶r̶e̶e̶ five different  ̶c̶o̶l̶o̶u̶r̶s̶ colourways - 2010

Or perhaps the gold xtr yumeya.

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sanesh-iyer
+1 Andrew Major
Sanesh Iyer  - Nov. 14, 2018, 2:51 p.m.

Awesome Andrew, and I think it hits on a key point in cycling. It almost seems like we're splitting (or maybe it's always been there, and I'm just getting woke). At one end, there's the iBike crowd who write off the cost off their bikes as soon as purchased, compatibility, serviceability, and resale value be damned for the sake of performance. And then there's those who dream of owning Titanium hardtails....

That said, I wonder how much the bike-industry-staff demographic has impacted the relatively good compatibility of mechanical components and terrible compatibility of bike electrical systems. When you look at the cross-compatibility problems of electric systems, they stem from companies like Bosch, Yamaha, and Fox (motorsport), and others which come from the OEM Only happy motorsports industries.

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AndrewMajor
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Andrew Major  - Nov. 14, 2018, 4:40 p.m.

Cheers Sanesh,

Could you elaborate on your point re. electrical systems?

I purposely didn’t go into Di2 / E-Tap for a couple reasons:

1) This is a mountain bike site and I can count on one finger the number of riders I’ve bumped into with a Di2-Mountain setup that they actually bought (I.E. that didn’t work for a website or manufacturer or as a sponsored rider). As far as I can tell ~ no one bought into it? I’ve never even seen the XT Di2 in person. I know plenty of people with Di2 road bikes and it seems to have been well supported.

2) When I tested an XTR Di2 bike my personal takeaway was that if I broke the billion dollar rear derailleur I’d replace it with an XTR cable shifter and XT rear derailleur and spend the difference on coffee and beer. Every other part is inter-compatible.

In the same vein I think Live-Valve is pretty meaningless. The fork isn’t self-servicing so after a few months of hard local use its still going to need a basic or feel like crap. If there’s an issue out of warranty it’s going to be more cost effective to convert it back to analog. It’s so expensive for such a little potential return I see the vast majority of riders putting their budget into other upgrades. I’m a total nerd, as you know, so I’ll certainly have my eyes open for my first non-industry Live-Valve sighting.

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sanesh-iyer
+1 Andrew Major
Sanesh Iyer  - Nov. 14, 2018, 7:44 p.m.

I can!

In the cycling industry, I actually get a sense that there's an aversion to change based on my time in it. The status quo is generally good, so there needs to be strong reasons to change (boost is actually a good idea, so are tapered head tubes, and I even empathize with press fit BBs because carbon, etc). [Royal] we, or the royal you rather because I'm officially an out of industry keyboard warrior, are generally a mechanically inclined group who know about chasing and facing and taps and threads and carbon paste and why they all do and don't make sense. We understand how to make decisions about mechanical things because bikes are mechanically dominated historically. 

Then iBikes come along. There communications protocols and plugs out the Ying yang. Di2 cross compatibility is new to the last few years, and some how still cannot be charged from ebike power. The 18650 battery  cell is used in Tesla's and Laptops and ebikes, yet we end up with >3 different connectors and chargers for a single iBike if we're lucky. Theres no standard for motor or battery mounts, one cannot even upgrade those parts within the same brand often. What I see with the iBike is that nobody is really working towards it as an ecosystem, just a bunch of independent systems. For the cycling industry electronics are new. There's no status quo, and we're exploring new things (connectors, protocols, battery management, etc) so change happens rapidly for even less significant reasons than boost. The outsider brain trust, i.e. those in motorsport who are brought in to work on bikes, I think may not be fully aware of the good standardization and backwards compatibility in cycling

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sanesh-iyer
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Sanesh Iyer  - Nov. 14, 2018, 7:45 p.m.

Also, I've seen a fair bit of Di2 MTB stuff out there on consumer bikes... Some on the shore, lots at BCBR, plenty in Quebec, and an incredible amount in the eurozone. Qualitatively, the people I have met who run it typically lack a decent LBS who do good service. Di2 pretty slick, I just can't afford it!

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AndrewMajor
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Andrew Major  - Nov. 14, 2018, 8:20 p.m.

I'm actually really not surprised re. Eurozone. Firstly because they held on to the front derailleur a lot longer (where Di2 really shines) and second because of E-Bike adoption where there are obvious tie-ins. 

It's crazy re. the Shore as I've truly only ever bumped into one guy running Di2 that wasn't industry/media/sponsored running the setup. 

Cheers!

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AndrewMajor
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Andrew Major  - Nov. 14, 2018, 8:23 p.m.

That makes sense - Here and in general, I'm certainly only talking about bikes powered by meat-engines. 

E~Bikes - whether on-road or offroad - are largely the wild west as soon as you get away from Bosch or Shimano mid-motors.

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UFO
+1 Cam McRae
UFO  - Nov. 16, 2018, 10:20 p.m.

I find with bikes where there's a will there's usually a way. Most of my bike dollars are spent in the secondary/used market to extract maximum value, so for me I rely on gear being readily available on the used market at what I deem to be a value worthy price.

With the immense depreciation of a used mtb's value, it's very difficult for me to justify forking out MSRP on a larger special order part to keep this old bike going. Case in point in the original thread I discovered the latest top end Fox 36 can be ordered with a straight 1 1/8" steertube -- I can almost guarantee you the fork will out value the rest of the bike it is to go on. So at some point it just makes sense to dive into the new standards. Until the next set of Standards rolls out... Thankfully things to seem to be slowing, for now

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UFO
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UFO  - Nov. 16, 2018, 10:20 p.m.

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