ZZstormy
Beggars Would Ride

Detachment Vs Pessimism

Reading time

That lead photo has nothing to do with this article. I was searching for an image of a mountain biker levitating, and that led to searching for images of levitation, which led to searching for images of Buddha on a mountain bike, then Yoda on a mountain bike, and somewhere after the pictures of Yoda doing Kung Fu but before the pictures of Daisy Ridley levitating, this popped up. So here we are.

But I digress.

SRAM did a masterful job of hogging the airspace last week. The hype machine teased us coyly that something was coming, and we all dutifully lined up with bated breath to see just what was sizzling beneath all that smoke. And the cycling world was bequeathed with…

…wait for it…

A NEW derailleur! And a new shifter, to be fair. Yeah, okay, and a cassette and a chain and a crank. It’s all only available as an AXS thingie and it costs a little more than my current test bike, and it isn’t really compatible with anything that already exists. And it’s apparently called a transmission now. But I'm not really here to talk about that. Because everyone else already has.

On an unrelated note, I’ve been doing breathwork this winter, and it's entirely possible that it is doing some good restorative smoothing to the jagged landscape inside my head. Whatever the cause, when this new razzle dazzle dropped, my reaction was… muted. I could see the benefits, I could see some drawbacks, I could understand the how and even the why of it, but there wasn’t any accompanying surge of excitement.

Once Upon A Time, I woulda been super frothed. Once Upon A Time, I was highly impressionable, stoked about all things mountain bike, and easily excited. I would have thought that this was the definitive changing of the guard, the big leap forward, the improvement that I absolutely NEEDED to bring my riding to a fuller, richer, more rewarding place. This would have pushed all my buttons. Compatibility? Why? All that other stuff is obsolete now, grandpa. Get out of the way or get run over by the progress bus. We’re gunning for the future!

g71mf

It could be argued that this photo has nothing to do with the article as well. Be thankful. I could have chosen this as a chance to repurpose one of the bajillion Eagle T images flexing the server farms somewhere.

Oddly enough, that super excitable young me was on the cusp of learning how to ride semi-fast, and about a year later was working as a bike mechanic and logging about 500 miles a month off road, and every single piece of my bicycle was disintegrating faster than I could keep it running. So, I went very quickly from being bullish on everything new and fresh marketing scented, to being very, very suspicious of everything new and fresh marketing scented. I distinctly remember an uncomfortable phone call with Rob Reisinger at Mountain Cycle, when I was trying to get some replacement parts for my two month old Suspender fork. I was explaining that the axle caps seemed to be working themselves loose from the fork stanchions when Rob interrupted me. “How many miles do you have on that thing? We’ve never even heard of this happening!” I somewhat sheepishly admitted I’d just rounded out 1000 miles. There was a long silence, then; “Oh. Hmm. Let’s send you some new parts. You let us know how long they last, okay?”

The replacement parts were no different than the parts they replaced, and 1000 miles later the fork was falling apart again. I took it off the front of my now twice repaired Yeti FRO and repurposed it on the front of an old Wards cruiser. Then I took off my fancyass Mavic Paris-Dakar wheels, since the rear axle had just broken again, rigged up a beater Shimano cassette hub to run a single cog and installed a much less glamorous set of hoops. Pulled the inner and outer chainrings, said farewell to my shifters and derailleurs, and experienced several years of relative mechanical harmony. This version of me got all kinds of frothy as well, but in the opposite direction from my earlier, boundlessly enthusiastic self. This version of me thought that just about everything new was straight up bullshit.

I had plenty of evidence. Most house brand handlebar/seatpost/stem componentry at that time was incredibly weak. The heavy weak stuff bent. The light weak stuff abruptly snapped. Suntour components had gone from being the bits that ushered in real mountain biking to being the bits that never shifted worth a damn for more than a couple hours on a dry day. Cantilever brakes, no matter how nostalgic anyone tries to get, mostly sucked. The more sophisticated they were in their attempts to generate braking force, the more they sucked (“Self-energizing”, my ass). V-brakes came along, and immediately began falling apart and howling like deranged monkeys. RockShox, pick any single model from the entire decade of the 1990s. It sucked. Any full suspension design prior to about 2005? Flexy, fragile, heavy, squeaky; pick any three traits and we’ll throw in the fourth for free!

All of that rampant shittiness made me feel at times like the bike industry was either the butt of some cosmic joke, or that mountain bike consumers were actually part of some massive experiment to see just how far recreation-based Stockholm Syndrome could be pushed before everyone quit riding, threw their bikes in the trash and walked off in disgust.

ZZclockwork

Okay, I really meant to include an image germane to the topic at hand here. Like a huge pile of old plastic Shimano Exage toe-adjustment cams. Or a 1998 RockShox SID with the stanchions worn through. Or a Cannondale Raven. But I could have just as easily embedded a video of Jackson Brown singing "Doctor My Eyes." So this seems like somewhere in between...

Things change, though. Sometimes it takes stepping off to the side and looking a couple decades in the rearview, but we have come a very, very long way. Our bikes are a lot better now than they were a decade ago, and a whole quantum leap better than two decades ago, and the bikes of three decades ago are basically unrecognizable in the current context of mountain bike technology. Shittiness still lurks in places, but not so rampantly, thank dog.

And not only have things changed, but so have I. Not much about the bike industry really gets me frothed these days. Trail access? I try to get my dander up about rights, but end up feeling like we really exist in a state of privilege. Ebikes? Not my bag, but they don't really bother me, either. Downcountry? Stupid name, but marketing's gotta market. Idler wheels? So long as I don't have to ride them, go in peace. I hear it's a lot like running with ankle weights, and plenty of people still do that. Hell, I'm even learning to tune out the tinny music blaring from all those little speakers that people are carting around in the woods.

Is this detachment, or is it apathy? Or am I just going through the doldrums of late middle-age semi-depression?

Maybe the breathwork is actually paying off, or maybe I've witnessed so much new stuff for so long that I am now immune to the synaptic rush of unbridled consumerism. This bike stuff, it is what I do for a living, so I should get excited about it, right? I should either be brimful of enthusiasm or else warning anyone who will listen to not get suckered; I should have a dog in this hunt, so to speak.

Once Upon A Time, a version of me would have been willing to sell a kidney (who needs two, anyway? Less kidney, less unsprung weight!) to fund a derailleur, sorry, transmission, that I could stand on.

Once Upon A Time, a different version of me would have been screaming at the top of my lungs how this stinks of planned obsolescence and is yet another example of The Man Keeping Us Down.

Now? I feel a strangely serene detachment. New derailleur? Cool. We should know how it pans out in a year or two. My guess is that people who ride a ton will still wear drivetrains out. People who break things regularly will still break things. Shocker.

How's that for 35 years of product wisdom distilled down into one blinding insight? Right?! That's the kinda juice you come here for! Time for my nap now.

When I wake up, a long ride on the one speed might be in order.

Zordinary

"Gather 'round, lads! I hear tell that someone's going to 'drop' a 'game changer'!"

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Comments

TristanC
+19 eriksg Tremeer023 fartymarty Allen Lloyd Cr4w Pete Roggeman mrbrett Mike Ferrentino GramsVsLbs imnotdanny mk.ultra 4Runner1 Blofeld Trent Blucher NealWood shenzhe Lynx . Jonthehuman Jeremy Hiebert

I think you've hit the nail on the head here. When I got to work and started reading all the Transmission stuff last week, my gut reaction was "unbridled fury." But, after sitting quietly for a moment and having a cup of coffee, I changed my mind. New Things are OK; they do not have to be For Me; I will probably never buy the New Thing because it is expensive and I break stuff; that is fine. The New Thing is not going to make riding my bike less fun. Being angry about the New Thing for no particular reason will.

I'm making a conscious effort to be more open-minded, or at least acknowledge that there are other people with different perspectives and I really shouldn't spend all my time worrying about what they're doing. Life's short. Go ride bikes.

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Vikb
+15 T0m GB Mike Ferrentino Sandy James Oates kcy4130 Mammal imnotdanny TristanC mk.ultra Blofeld Velocipedestrian NealWood Curveball Lynx . Vilim Papa Jeremy Hiebert 4Runner1

I’m sitting in a campground in Moab right now trying to regain feeling in my frozen fingers and toes. 

Surrounded by jeeps, ATVs, dirt bikes and Sprinter vans that cost as much as a house. Just like e-bikes and battery operated drivetrains I know all these things exist, but they’ve got nothing to do with me. 

I’m starting week 4 of this camping and mountain bike trip. Riding a 5 year old bike that so far has only needed a broken spoke fixed and the occasional bit or air and chain lube. I’ve got nothing to complain about. 

My interest in most MTB tech releases is summed up by Yawn. Lots of stuff solving problems I don’t have. 

I do think thing’s are headed in a direction that’s not healthy for the sport of mountain biking. So I’m not feeling like there is no downside to what’s going on, but my ability to impact it is minimal. Until I can figure out something better I’ll just ride my mountain bicycle and enjoy how fun the trails are.

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DaveSmith
+13 Andy Eunson Mike Ferrentino Todd Hellinga Mammal TristanC 4Runner1 BenZ bearbikerider vunugu tomis916 shenzhe Lynx . Tjaard Breeuwer

I show up for the clearly stated premise of the editorial and stay for unfocused yet relatable meandering that eventually returns to the premise of the editorial.

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mikeferrentino
+14 Todd Hellinga Dave Smith 4Runner1 Andy Eunson taprider Morgan Heater bearbikerider NealWood Curveball dhr999 vunugu tomis916 Tjaard Breeuwer Jeremy Hiebert

There was a premise? AND it was clearly stated? I must be slipping. My goal is unfocused yet relatable meandering from soup to nuts.

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fartymarty
+11 Blofeld T0m chacou 4Runner1 Velocipedestrian Skooks papa44 neilBar Lynx . Vilim Papa utopic

and I though the pinnacle of drivetrains was my cable actuated, 10 speeded, Zee meched, XT shiftered, 10-42 cassetted frankendrive... (good, cheap and lightish)

I was also very ambivalent - maybe i'm getting old.

Great article Mike - you summed up my feelings nicely - keep 'em coming

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chacou
+2 fartymarty papa44

Just put Zee 11 - 36 on my daughter's bike, and seeing as how affordable and compact that mech is I'm now contemplating ditching my 4 year old, not so great anymore shifting GX Eagle on my hardtail to an 11 - 42 w/ Zee, what's holding me back is not wanting to get a new free hub since the wheels currently are XD and I believe I'd need HG.

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fartymarty
+2 papa44 utopic

chacou - it's a great drivetrain if you can make it work with your hub.  The short cage Zee is the star if the show.

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papa44
+1 utopic

Yes! Another thread I can evangelise in. 10 speed short cage zee is the pinnacle of mtb drivetrains. It’s only downhill from here (badum tish). I’ve been riding varying types of dodgy bike since 93 and this is the longest and most content I’ve been with my *cough* transmission.

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neilBar
+2 Lynx . utopic

No problem using a Shimano derailleur on a sram cassette. I do. XX1 cassette and chain (toughest)   XTR derailleur (light action). XT mech. 

Been like that 3 years. No issues.

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doodersonmcbroseph
+2 fartymarty utopic

It still is the pinnacle of drivetrains in my opinion.

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velocipedestrian
+7 fartymarty Mike Ferrentino Mammal imnotdanny Blofeld Lynx . utopic

Maybe we've just inspected the bridge they're trying to sell us enough times (says the guy just old enough to have 'upgraded' to V brakes), that the cynicism and froth are sufficiently balanced to emerge as a sigh. 

Maybe the E revolution and five-digit-norm price tags have dulled the shock response. 

Maybe we're innured to Srams Superlative Ultimately Deluxemoblie marketing by now. 

Maybe I haven't got a point. I've just found this whole thing tiring this time round. I'm not gonna buy this bridge.

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vincentaedwards
+6 Cr4w Mike Ferrentino NealWood Curveball Lynx . utopic

I place it in the same category as the buzz around a mid-engine corvette or a new tesla model… 

A small subset of people who have money to burn on luxury goods will buy one, and a lot of people with more grounded spending habits will read about it and form opinions… then buy a Subaru or Toyota and choose 8130 for their next bike. 

I know we have 2 dominant companies trying to fight for their piece of the market, and SRAM has chosen the high-end… but it really is telling to look at the two different solutions to the 12-speed *problem* 

SRAM- lets add batteries and motors, find a stiffer way to connect it to the bike, and charge $1,599

Shimano- lets go back to 11-speed, and add material BACK to the cassette… and charge $500 for something that lasts longer than the last $500 thing, and works better because 12-speed never really was a necessary evolution.

_

I too have been riding my SS a lot lately :) 

For the riding I do 90% of the time these days, it really is more fun.

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TwistedNipple
+5 fartymarty Blofeld Mammal Lynx . utopic

“synaptic rush of unbridled consumerism”

I think this is the line that breaks my spirit. Knowing that countless materials, resources and money have been invested in tech that only the tip of the iceberg can justify, just sums up where our hobby has got to.

We’re now chasing a crueler dragon and looking for the elevated buzz.

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mrbrett
+5 Mike Ferrentino Andy Eunson 4Runner1 Vincent Edwards NealWood

“mountain bike consumers were actually part of some massive experiment to see just how far recreation-based Stockholm Syndrome could be pushed before everyone quit riding, threw their bikes in the trash and walked off in disgust.”

I had a good laugh about this one. So much hot garbage for sale in the 90s.

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rigidjunkie
+4 Cr4w Metacomet Lynx . utopic

Great article.  I relate to the thoughts, mainly because I bought my first nice mountain bike in 1994.  It was a Stumpjumper from 1993, what I believe to be the last year they came without a suspension fork.  I rode that bike until around 2003. During that time literally everybody I knew who rode moved to full suspension.  Most of my rides on that bike involved spending some time out in the woods fixing something that broke... not on my bike but that of one of my friends.  

When I eventually donated that bike to someone it still had the original drivetrain, and it still worked pretty well.  I think over the years it went through maybe 3 chains and cassettes.  

The bike news that most excited me this year was Shimano releasing a group of components built to last again.  Sram can take their transmission or whatever the hell they want to call this stuff.  Give me a robust drivetrain that will last, even if it requires some thought before shifting.  Ohh and give me Shimano brakes while you are at it.  I am a hard pass on brakes that use nasty fluid and put modulation above power.  Wandering bite points are way better than non-existent ones.

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mk.ultra
+4 Mike Ferrentino Mammal Andy Eunson TristanC

You are not your job, you're not how much money you have in the bank. You are not the car you drive. You're not the contents of your wallet. You are not your fucking khakis.

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maximum-radness
+3 fartymarty Mike Ferrentino 4Runner1

I have had the sigh, more this week than previously, when Saint was released, and it was exciting. Af. I think this one has really encouraged me to rebuild the one-speed, and I’m hearing that a lot. The push back has got to be good for Paul components, and hopefully SHRAMANO -ancient deity of swole brakes- is learning. Probably not. Is it a trap? Are they releasing an upgraded one-speed chain next week?

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kos
+3 Mike Ferrentino Andy Eunson 4Runner1

"repurposed it on the front of an old Wards cruiser" -- nice time machine reach back, Mike. Monkey Wards?!

I understand the muted excitement for transmission, but be honest, better valve stems do it for all of us, right?!

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alexdi
+3 T0m Blofeld Jeremy Hiebert

I just ordered the parts to upgrade a 26er to a one-by. It's tricky because you need to run 36T or more to get enough top end, which often means a Boost 3mm offset to clear the chainstay. But if you pair a Boost CR to a non-Boost hub with 11S or 12S, the big sprockets are unacceptably draggy, especially with 26er chainstays. So I opted for a 10S 11-46, which I was happy to discover exists for both Sunrace and Shimano, and pairs with Shimano's M4100 10S shifter and M5100 Deore derailleur. If I'd wanted to spend a bit more for an even better chainline, I might have opted for Advent 9.

I love that this stuff exists. It'll be even easier next year with CUES. (U4000 is perfect for this sort of thing. The M5100 cage is just a little long for such a small wheel.) The gear weenie in me is happy to see SRAM move the dentist state-of-the-art, but for what I work with day to day, I'm much more excited about Shimano shoring up the downmarket. (And a bit trepidatious for Microshift; Deore already costs less for what I perceive to be a somewhat better product. Shimano isn't leaving many gaps to fill with CUES.)

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cooperquinn
+3 Mike Ferrentino Rowdy shenzhe

Kidneys aren't unsprung mass, Mike. At least when they're still attached.

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mikeferrentino
+4 Cooper Quinn Mammal NealWood [email protected]

Sometime in the middle of the night on Saturday, I woke up from a dream where I was arguing with the ghost of my dad that wheel weights were unsprung weight and therefore impact suspension performance, and then I realized I had flipped my terminology in the column. But then I fell back asleep instead of doing anything about it.

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cooperquinn
0
Rowdy
0

This stood out to me as well. Now toes however...

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SilentG
+3 JT fartymarty TristanC

Never mind what's been selling. It's what you're buying - Fugazi

Great article.

For my two cents being dragged along by the currents is what companies/organizations (not just bike there) want/need and far better to do what you think is right and proper when you think it is the time to do it.

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andy-eunson
+3 Velocipedestrian Sandy James Oates Lynx .

I must say that after 5 kidney stones in one side, I did briefly consider donating the crappy one. Having been riding mountain bikes since 1983, I’ve lived (survived?) through all sorts of good bad and indifferent parts. Most younger riders really have no clue how awful that stuff in the 80s worked. But riding was just as much fun. The retro-grouch pines for that old equipment but in reality, they pine for the young body that recovered quickly. 

It’s not the hype so much as the result of the hype. We allow ourselves to be sucked in by it. And we’ve all been sucked in one time or another. This is why some old guys like me tend to step back and look the hype with a stink eye. Let some other riders be the beta testers and see how things go. The newest thing might be better. But how much better do I need? 

Ask questions. Be sceptical. Listen to the hype but be critical. Do you really need a ten tooth cog to coast down steep paved roads? Do you need electrical shifting? Test ride a bike with it and see for yourself. 

I’ll never forget the guy that came into the old Bike Cellar in North Van loudly proclaiming that he had reduced his bike weight by a pound by installing a titanium bottom bracket. Wait what? You replaced something that doesn’t even weigh a pound with something that might be a ¼ pound lighter. He was an accountant apparently that I would not hire to do my taxes. "But the shop weighed my bike before and after", he said.  Maybe if he’d paid for that bb in toonies that he carried on the bike it was lighter.

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sandy-james-oates
+2 Andy Eunson Mike Ferrentino

Mike this is your old age creeping in.

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mikeferrentino
+1 Sandy James Oates

Doesn't exactly feel like it's creeping in anymore...

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4Runner1
+2 Cam McRae dhr999

Best piece yet, Mike.

Thank dog, indeed.

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OLDF150
+2 NealWood LWK

Ahhh, the levelheadedness that comes with a few decades of experience.  When you're not trying to be the bestest you've ever been, and just enjoying the ride, all the new fangled bits certainly have less glamour to them.  As George's dad said,"Serenity now!"

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GB
+1 Andy Eunson

I ponder the idea that Sram knows throwing out phrases like game changer raises our hackles. This  predictably gets us consumers foaming at the mouth ranting about the outlandish claims made by this new and improved part that I assume is approximately 100 years old . The derailleur.  

The objective being constant discussions on most mountain bike E zines about this latest product . 

I love observing these 'raise the bar"  type latest teck. Toys . Long term observations will determine for me the actual value of this new gear .

The language Sram used to describe this derailleur makes me giggle . Quite entertaining.

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tashi
+1 NealWood

Detachment leads to pessimism, but it’s dangerously close relation unattachment can lead you towards contentment.

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jt
+1 Curveball

Best bit of this whole shabang is finally getting rear der hangers to some semblance of one to rule em all. This release was the industry's worst kept secret in a long time. The extra hype and bandwagoning of shops on the socials accentuated my meh. I used to drool over parts and fell for hype (Hulllllooooo Kooka cranks!) and now I just don't see the need to swap what for me works aces and fits with my old mech sensibilities of make sure you can find replacements easily. I don't see this offering any revolutionary, game changing benefits that justify the price tag. It's an interesting engineering exercise, but how it translates to the enthusiast is awfully questionable.

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chacou
+1 Mike Ferrentino

> Is this detachment, or is it apathy? Or am I just going through the doldrums of late middle-age semi-depression?

Breath work and meditation has lead me to this same conundrum often. But then I remember that even worrying about that is attachment. I think the term you're looking for here is actually "un-attachment".

Nice piece as usual

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Fat_Tony_NJ
+1 Velocipedestrian

I'm so not excited for the SRAM transmission... The Cues system from Shimano got me way more excited than the SRAM system. Durability? Better pricing? Sign me up!

And yes, I do have a cobbled Zee 1X10 setup on a steel 29er hardtail. How did you know? :)

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Joe_Dick
+1 Todd Hellinga

Though not even idea of single speeds will never ever catch on in mainstream cycling, Single Speeds too can be an attachment. It is easy for single speeding to become a part of how you identify as a cyclist. That idea can place limits of you. limits and scarcity can be rewarding, or they can simply be scarcity and limits. 

Humans have a surprisingly short memory. we are just coming out the far side of a massive parts shortage where keeping your bike running took a small amount of creativity and the ability to fix your own bike. we are not even full out of the woods, and instead of rectifying or planning for the obvious flaws in the global supply chain, we are focusing on creating more widgety widgets. 

All that being said, I really should put the 1x1 dressing back on my commuter/gravel bike. if for no other reason than it will motivate me to fix the broken spoke on my geared wheel.

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Curveball
0

Single-speed is straight up out for me. Why? I think it may be ADD. I feel a compulsion to shift at least every 10 seconds, whether the trail grade warrants it or not.

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velocipedestrian
+2 Adrian Bostock Curveball

Perhaps a SS would be good for you?

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fartymarty
+1 Adrian Bostock

The funny bit is when your thumb keeps reaching for the shifter and it's not there.

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Curveball
+1 fartymarty

LOL! Shift withdrawl!

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FlipFantasia
+1 Adrian Bostock

I haven't SS'ed often, but the best time was at your behest on a Big F'in Loop...not sure I've done it since tbh!

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ShawMac
+1 Velocipedestrian

The only example from pre 2005 that I could use to disagree with anything in this article was my 2001 GT i-drive. 3 inches of plush on an intended XC bike that I hammered trying to keep up with my friends on Stinkys, VPS shores etc. The thing never gave up. What finally did it in was the seat tube collar parting at the weld.

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velocipedestrian
0

I still have a 2004 Turner 5 Spot frame. It never gave up on me, but I gave up on the tiny reach and 34mm head tube.

I'd be stoked to give it a hoon if I could magically upsize the reach, stack and HA to current preferences.

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lobos.y.lineas
0

Had a laugh with the mechanics at my LBS about jumping up and down on derailleurs this weekend while they installed a dropper post (finally) and a new chain on my xt/slx 2x10 drivetrain that is still running the original 2016 cassette and chainrings and shifting smoother than a magic carpet ride.  not sure if that's a testament to 2x10 durability or my distaste for riding in not-dry conditions.  the 5 cables coming off my handlebars looks like a 3 year old's face after a spaghetti dinner.  derailleurs have always been too fragile, so maybe someday some version of some type of ultra derailleur will be mine....

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Lynx
0

Another great piece Mike, like you plucked it and the thoughts right out my head. Agree with others, much more "excited" about Shimano's take on drivetrains that SRAMs, but can somewhat appreciate the thought process involved (we need something new to make the sheeple buy more shit they don't  need). 

Had to do a decent 18 mile commute yesterday on the old '08 Surly Monkey with old 9spd drivetrain and as I was standing up and shifting under load, while climbing a hill, I thought about all this and wondered how come I could do that without having spent a crap load of $$ on one of these new drivetrains, but then I guess for/to me, I started MTBing long enough ago that you actually HAD to learn how to shift properly and so now, I don't have a problem shifting compared to all the N00bs, let's get out there as fast as we can to hit all the down without really needing to pilot the bike with it's 170mm travel, 2.6" tyres and motor crowd.

FYI, I do have a 10spd Zee derailleur, but it's setup on my fav size SM loaner/rental bike with an 11-36 cassette and heaven forbid 2X front rings. Heck, just the week before I reinstalled a front shifter and derailleur onto my main ride (Banshee Phantom) because I only had a spare 11-36 cassette on the wheels I wanted to run AND because of working/servicing enough 12spd 1x setups where I'm seeing 3, maybe 4 cogs wearing much faster than the rest of the cassette and cassettes basically being thrown away while 75% is still good because people just mainly use 3 or 4 cogs. BTW, I had an excellent ride, even cleared a couple climbs I'd had trouble with in the past, 2x 10spd didn't hold me back one bit and I know I used m y cassette more efficiently.

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Bli33ard
0

I'm very much "retro" about mountain bikes (even my comment is four months old) because I look at what's new and have to question why I need it, as we should. I bought my first legit mountain bike pretty much at the beginning in '83 and it was a Cadillac and a Ferrari with a bit of bulldozer all in one. Of course it could easily be ridiculed now, but then what's the progress we've seen? The industry went in the wrong direction with 1X drivetrains; the rear derailleur is obsolete not the front one ( I mean gearing if not the actual front derailleur). For all the cost and minimal improvement you could just go with a Rohloff, and I'd say it's 10 times cooler than having a derailleur people need to stand on for some reason. A mid-mounted gearbox is the future, with or without a motor. The front triangle-obsolete. Spokes-obsolete. The way parts are fastened-obsolete. And, as always, there's going to be one guy or a small company that's really going to have something amazing because they're not on the hype bandwagon. 

I just built a dually with all-new parts circa 2013 with a 3X10 drivetrain and I love it, put the Reverb on it last week and I'm set. Loving the sprightly 26" wheels too, so my next new bike could be a 29er hardtail but the thing is, what seriuos rider only has one bike anyway?

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